by Ella Risbridger
Here are the things for which I am most grateful:
-First the light, in three parts (and the parts are these:
the gold light in our bedroom in the morning,
next, the clear grey light over Topps Tiles and the tenements and the tree,
and last, headlights coming through the Mile End fog.)
-Second, the silver tea-pot. All shiny upside-down we are within it, and good strong Earl Grey.
-The garden on the window-sill. My parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, but rosemary would want more space, and parsley is bitter. Four for use, and one for love: basil for scent, and chilli for spice, and a rose for my birthday. I am not green-thumbed: my sunflower never grew so tall as the others’ did, but we do alright, my plants and I. Sainsbury’s sold them off cheap (I am grateful for that, too.)
-Monday morning cut flowers, in all sun-colours.
-Next, the way the chimney stacks stand out against the storm, and the way the wisteria is creeping red round the bricks.
-The chimney stacks belong to the haunted house: I am grateful for that. For their dachshunds and dragons and tall gates. For their paintings that move. For their lamps in the dark.
-The paint has peeled away from a sign at the side of that house: it says PLAY BALL, BY ORDER. We will play ball.
-Next, scarves and my blackberry gloves, and my sage green coat.
-Lipstick in Deep Pink.
-The red peg-bag. I am pleased with the peg-bag.
-The purple quilt.
– My floral knickers, and my floral frock.
-Stories. (The old ones, and the older ones, and the new ones, and the way walking makes them all tumble together at a footfall)
-Light at the end of the tunnel: as you come into Whitechapel, you come out of the dark. You will come out of the dark; I will come out of the dark; we will all come smiling out of the dark together.
(And this is home, this small flat opposite a haunted house, with its tiny window garden and its flowers on the table, and the light dancing shadows on the ceilings. And this is home. And this is home, for home is where the heart is, and I am grateful to have my heart where I am. I am grateful to be home:
I am grateful for my boy; I am grateful for that love and this light and Monday breakfast
with flowers, and tea from our silver tea-pot.)