Alison Theaker

They say hearing is the last to go.

In those dark moments when I cannot see your face,
Not see my children gathered round,
The hills dotted with sheep,
The river covering the tidal flats in the valley,

Not smell the fresh bread proving in the kitchen,
The freesias bright on the mantelpiece,
Your skin,
The seaweed cast onto the shore after a storm,

Not feel the wind combing my hair from my face,
The sun cupping my cheek,
Your fingers tracing the ridge of my shoulder blade,
Your lips on mine,

Not taste cool white wine on the terrace,
Raspberries straight from the garden,
The first pear to ripen on the tree you bought me,
Pistachio ice cream on the beach below the coast path,

There will still be the song of the thrush at dusk before rain,
The rumble of pebbles caught in the undertow,
A lone violin,
My daughter singing in the shower,
A last whispered, "I love you."

Alison Theaker

Alison Theaker has worked in PR and HE for 30 years. She worked as a freelance journalist in London, with regular columns in British Journal of Photography and Creative Review, and studied with Michele Roberts at the City Lit in the 1990s. Her textbooks include Effective Media Relations (with David Wragg and Michael Bland) Kogan Page, 3rd edition 2005; The Public Relations Handbook, Routledge (4th edn 2012) and the Public Relations Strategic Toolkit with Heather Yaxley (Routledge, 2012).

She lived in Massachusetts for three years, where she won the first 'Improper Bostonian' short story competition, in 2001, with A Family Christmas, published her novel, No Rhyme nor Reason (iUniverse 2003) and won the first New Voices Sudden Fiction contest in 2004 with A Room With A View. She moved back to the UK in July 2004 and won the first Devon Life short story competition December 2005 with Lost and Found.

Alison was accepted on Roselle Angwin's Creative Novel Writing Course in 2006, and worked on The Good Catch, a novel about Victorian Brixham. She won the 2006 Frome Literary Festival Short Story Competition (Eating Cake) and the 2007 Yeovil Short Story Competition (Road Trip). Awarded an Arts Council Arts 4 All Grant she completed the invitation-only Arvon Foundation Advanced Fiction course in November 2006.

In November 2011 she completed 50,000 words of her new novel, The Long Path, set on the South West Coast Path, as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, the world's largest writing challenge).

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Senses © 2012 Alison Theaker: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.