It is the 16th October, a soft, rainy, autumnal day.

It is the day of your birthday.

At the graveyard, two council workers carefully pile up barrow loads of leaves, tumbling from the trees all around, falling on this day.

It’s five years ago, your last birthday before you could no longer live at home, and we’re still sharing tea and a Victoria sponge.

It is this time last year: lost in lines of remembrance and the gold soft light of a Galloway autumn day.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the afternoon you were buried, snow all about and bitter cold, and the children sledging down the hill: over and again, like a tape playing on a loop inside my head, they race down the hill, shrieking with excitement, their laughter drifting over the voice of the minister, finishing his prayer.

It’s the day of your birth, written on this stone, as you are handed to your mother, her name written here, next to yours.

At a bend in the drive, the wheels of the council van skid on the rain soaked leaves.

It is today, indubitably here, this day.

And full to the brim with the others.