Sam’s Town


The first time I left the house on my own after my son was born was probably six weeks after the event, when I had mostly recovered from the caesarean. It was the first time I felt able to leave him for five minutes. I walked out of the house on a grey evening and took a few steps around the corner, where I climbed the steps of the footbridge that crosses the roaring A3 and stood watching the traffic zoom by beneath me. On a clear day it is possible to see miles into the distance, see the tallest buidlings in London. I’m not a big Killers fan, I suppose they fall into the guilty pleasures department…but this song was playing at the time, and I had such a sense of euphoria at being on my own for the first time, no baby in my arms or in my tummy, but also knowing that I’d got through what turned out to be a very difficult birth and the first few weeks of motherhood. It was the first time I turned my thoughts back to the outside world and thought, “What am I going to do now?” This tune popped up on my IPOD yesterday and took me back to that moment, over six years ago, and to many moments after.

“I’ve got this sentimental heart that beats…”

Feeling must water the ground of the future

This storm drain needs a break

From all the rain

That keeps falling.

Ce sera sera is wearing thin

“It’s nice to be nice”

Would be welcomed in.

This is a loving waterbutt,

Brim full of feeling,

With nowhere to spill over,

Sensory deprivation for so long means

All I have is memory:

Your hand in mine;

Your kiss on my tongue;

Your whisper in my ear-

Before the water stopped the sound

And bound my eyes.

No scent of you,

No breath to sigh.

But it will spill over after all-

The trees will grow 15 feet over the winter,

And stoop to tell us their secret

Of letting go

Floating free, you and me

Like ducks in the spring flood