Mother

MOTHER

Day by day you remember less
but reminded me yesterday
how to make daisy chains
until I wove you one from those
flourishing in the cracks between slabs
on your run-wild patio
made you a crown then a necklace
to dazzle your carers later
as they packed you off to bed
the white-haired May Queen in June.

Strange compensations:
how my turning up now
is always a surprise that leaves you breathless
Strange rages: you saying how if I’d told you
yesterday I’d be here for lunch today
you could have cooked me something
Strange sadnesses: how you begin weeping
when I tell you quietly that I did.

Side by side on your bench creaking with rot
enjoying this bonus heatwave
you ask me what we’ve done to deserve it
Gone on living -I answer flatly
as if losing a husband and eldest son
is not cost enough.

Over and over the same questions
life become symmetrical
now you the child and I the teacher
where once I was the little mummy’s boy
fresh from school loving coffee gateau
at Gavin’s Mill whose wheel still turned then
and the company of older women
cool and glorious as ice cream to me
all your nattering friends now mostly
gone under the dark moist soil
Gosh do I ever remember such a heatwave?
the hottest day since yesterday
I love the purity of dry dust on my boots
on my long trudge home across the fields
the sudden subject changes yes
it’s catching.

But this amnesia what if it’s more
blessing than curse? You returning
to the state of Nature herself:
the ultimate forgetter living only
in the moment questioning again and again
discarding tragedy formulating
no futures the blind watchmaker
crowned in daisies crestfallen
we fall into the earth as strewn flowers
but are uplifted always
because hope is self-evident
ever-growing and adapting whereas
despair is only an idea.

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This entry was posted in Art, Poetry, Psychology, Travel, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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