Strange what happens when you hear the news and find yourself gazing in underwater slow motion at all that up to this point was your life. The verandah you spent the day inexplicably painting green, the doll's house carefully constructed in the childhood room, the vase placed just so to welcome him home, the treacherous photographs lining the fairytale hall all roll gently in waves and send ripples out into the future so that it instantly - rearranges itself, and what was to be is now not. Still. So still. Clear. Cruel. Dazzling. All pierced by a screaming voice (mine I think) a crying child (ours). She's tugging my leg trying desperately to pull me back through the doorway of her already fractured childhood before it snaps shut. (Oh sweetheart, I wish if only for you, that I could rewind and keep playing my part, but it's gone, you see, there's nothing left to return to because it was never there, it was a lie.) Then in the background I hear a whimper (that's you) the sound funneling me back into the - now of your face - pale and quivering, like a mollusc without its shell. Naked you stand, your truth pried open before me, waiting for the knife of my rage to cut - and in a moment of horrifying clarity I realize that you have been shucked! Your exposure is indecent (and somehow brave) you burn in the light of my gaze and are finally free. (It is only much later I dare to consider that perhaps, so are we.) Now, carefully, so as not to perpetuate harm, I take her small hand and we tip-toe away, abandoning the spent husks of past selves behind us, trailing all our dark painful roots along with us like bloody testaments to these stillborn lives as we pull further, further, further, still pulling today.