Only Living

Photo by Melissa Reid

Photo by Melissa Reid

When the tea-kettle sings
but you’re out of Earl Grey and honey
and the last line of a song you know
sounds foreign, strange
and brings new tears which is funny
because you were never one to cry.

When the sun’s been shining all morning and at noon
rain starts to fall like wet stones
and you’ve left your raincoat at home
because the forecast predicted sun,
blue skies and those kind of clouds that shaped wonders of your childhood.

When what used to give you all the answers
stops giving them
and starts disappearing
and the only thing you can do is take walks
lots of walks
through parks and down cobblestone lanes
along the River Clyde and up to the tallest hilltops with the tallest graves
and the walks offer some solace
but never any answers
because antidotes don’t hide in the sky or in inscriptions on gravestones
and you were always shit at solving those math equations in school
that never really make sense in the real world, anyway
certainly not when you’re sitting in your flat with a cup of tea
and it’s Tetley instead of Earl Grey,
you’re all out of honey
and you find wet stones in your rain boots
and all you can do is put them on and go for a walk
maybe call your mother, hearing her voice always helps
because mothers know your favourite tea
and they always have umbrellas so maybe
she’ll offer you a solace much greater than what one of your walks can provide
and certainly greater than whatever answer you won’t receive
in empty text
from an empty person, she’ll say sweetheart

don’t try to make sense of the irrational.
There is no cure,
only living.

Emma Olsson is a first year undergraduate student studying Journalism, Creative Writing and Politics at the University of Strathclyde. While trying to think of something to write for this bio she’s been eating all the chocolate from the Christmas advent calendar, even though you’re obviously just supposed to have one each day. Everybody knows that.