Before and After

Clare Elwell

Things to do:

pay florist


Order of Service

buy tissues

Things that make her cry:

muddy boots forlorn at the back door

wedding photographs

cold bed sheets

unresolved arguments

Things which annoyed her:

soap bars swimming in the dish


snoring (not his fault)

oily finger smudges on door handles

dirt encrusted jeans

Things she won’t miss:

heavy weather sailing

chemotherapy side effects (his)

Things she will miss:

being teased (although it was annoying sometimes)

his sunny outlook

hum of his electric saw

warm scent of fresh sawdust

how he packed the boot of the car (with precision)

a quiet anchorage

a shared bottle of champagne

Things she is embarrassed about:

being impatient when he cried

relief leaving the hospice

the lure of new independence

Things she doesn’t want to think about:

bank statements

paying bills

silence now his whistling no longer flutters in the air

About the author: Clare lives in Cornwall, where she has a lovely attic room for writing in and tends to her garden when not writing.