River boats

River boats in Sussex, UK 2015. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

River boats in Sussex, UK 2015. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 81

Mum - I hope this reaches you in time.

Words are lost to me now. This has been a difficult few weeks. By the time you read this I will be on a train crossing Europe. I am unable to tell you where. I couldn’t take Arthur with me. He cries and cries and I can’t comfort him, ever. I look at him and know I am his mother but I don’t love him like you love me. When I hold him he is a stranger to me. I don’t want to be the one that hurts him yet maybe I will be.

I wrapped him well and put him in one of the river boats. You’ll find him there. He was quiet when I laid him down. perhaps he knew that I would leave him.

He is better with you. I am too consumed with grief. I will never be the same again.

Do not try to find me. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will do for him. He will love you. Tell him the things you want to about me. Or nothing. Whatever you think is best.

He may try to find me one day when he’s older and thinks it necessary. It won’t be. I am not necessary. I am simply biological. There is all the love and hope and care that you can give him. And I am grateful that you are mine. My mum. Who knows. Despite everything. Find him. He will be safe. You know where. I have left him with my necklace. It’s worth a little. Sell it for him.

I think of you always.


Feeling brave? Want to share your own version? ‘Let it go’ in the comments below.