A Song for Daddy

Daddy Daddy Daddy

I love you

You get my ice lolly

You slice the cake for everyone

You get the bad bits off my apple

You are so kind

You sometimes “boo!” me

I miss your hair and your big beard

He’s very tall

But not as tall as his Dad

He helps me do my go on my tablet.

Written by my little Grandson Frank. 1.4.2021

Fly Free, Alexander, Fly Free

Fly free Alexander, Fly free

Fly free Alexander, Fly free
Take this piece of my broken heart
and fly free.
Fly to the stars, Alexander, Fly to the stars
Scatter these pieces of my broken heart
and fly free.
Fly free, Alexander, fly free
Take all this love, and fly free.

8.6 Miles

My Dearest Love, My Sweetheart, My Darling,
My Husband, My Man, My Life.
I half-wake in the night,
Certain I hear you breathing beside me
Sure I can see the soft rise of the bed clothes over your body
and I’m comforted by knowing that if I stretch out my hand
I can touch your warm skin.
Then as my dreams recede, I remember that tonight you’re in another bed.
8.6 miles away. So near. 15 minutes in the car. 10 Minutes in the middle of the night if I drive fast.
I picture myself abandoning the car in the place outside the door,
where cars are not allowed
And running in and up the stairs
Bursting through the door that says “Please ring and wait”
And then what? I won’t know where to find you.
Can I creep up on other men to check they aren’t you?
Would I be able to do it without alerting staff that there’s
a mad woman in the ward, still dressed in dressing gown and slippers?
Defeated, I turn over in bed
and whisper “Good Night my Love, Sleep well, I adore you my Darling.”
and hope that somehow, 8.6 miles away, you hear me.

The Last Time

The Last Time

I didn’t know it was the last time
when I wrapped you in a towel
and rubbed your hair dry.
I didn’t know that the next day
you would pronounce yourself
a big boy and tell me you could
do it by yourself.
I didn’t know it was the last time
when I sat with all my children
and read to them from
“Twas the night before Christmas”
with fairy lights and candles illuminating
the text.
I didn’t know it was the last time
and perhaps that’s a good thing.
I couldn’t have borne it
If I’d known it was the last time.© 3 hours ago   

For my ‘much older’ cousin, Ann

We didn’t play when we were kids
well not much, and not often
and not that I remember.
But when Mum got out photographs
for us to sort
to keep us quiet on a Sunday afternoon
so she could nap,
I would look at the photo
we had of you with your older brother
sitting in your Sunday Best
with your curls
And your beautiful ribbon
tied in a big bow in your hair..

I had ribbons and bows too,
But not so big, And not so beautiful
and my hair was straight,
not curly like yours.

When my Mum told me
of your Dad, her much loved brother,
she’d say what a lovely singing voice he had
and how he’d sing “Scarlet Ribbons”
with you in mind,
and I’d remember that photo
and wish I had curls.
And Scarlet Ribbons.

Lockdown Musing

Lockdown Musing

Work quietly while I’m out, you said
So we painted our houses
with four windows and a door
curtains and a chimney,
and a fat yellow sun in the corner of the paper.

Work quietly while I’m out, you said
So we painted our finger nails
with pink paint designed for paper
and laughed and thought how
grown up we were.

Work quietly while I’m out, you said
So we flicked paper balls
with a ruler
and chatted and laughed when
someone drew rude things
on the board.

Now I’m home and my laptop is
the only witness to my PJs
and my fifteen coffee breaks and my waste bin
basket ball and my phone calls to my friends
And I wonder why I wasn’t taught how to
work quietly while I’m out.

My Queen

I saw the disappointment in your eyes
when you realised what I’d brought you.
You expected caviar and Parma Ham
So when I brought in lamb instead
You blinked at me and silently walked out of the room
and lay down with your back to me
Impervious to my pleas to come and eat.
Later, you listened quietly as I promised to do better
In the future.

Next day.
I saw the resentment in your eyes
when you realised what I’d brought you.
You expected succulent lamb,
so when I brought you caviar and Parma Ham
You blinked at me and walked silently out of the room
and lay down with your back to me
Impervious to my pleas to come and eat.
Later, you listened quietly as I promised to do better
In the future.

In the middle of the night I woke
and planned how I would do better
I would find something special for you, my Queen
But when I came into the kitchen
you’d taken matters into your own hands.
I saw the forgiveness in your eyes as you
dropped the gift you’d brought me,
at my feet.

Still Serving

75 years on
poppies fell again
on shoulders, hats and helmets
as men and women who serve today
stood in tribute to the fallen..
Round them, unseen,
men and women
who once lived and laughed
fought and died
gathered around to watch.
stood at the shoulders of the
people who had taken their places.
placed hands on shoulders
and passed on the baton.
When a mother
shared the story of the daughter
she had lost, unseen hands held hers
and wiped her tears.
At the Royal Chelsea Hospital
Proud men and women donned
their scarlet coats and tricorn hats
and marched with backs straight
and heads held high,
and didn’t know their ranks
were swelled with those that went before:
that the mates they thought were gone
were marching with them, still young,
still proud, and still serving.

Belief

Once we laid ‘neath moonlit sky
and stared at stars that shone above
and in our innocence believed the song
and hoped to catch a falling star.
At Christmas time we stared through glass
and listened hard for tinkling bells
convinced ourselves that we could see
a sleigh and reindeer rise at speed
and silhouette against the moon..
Now, grown up ,and taking my turn
to tell the stories to little ones
who stare with wonder through the glass
I don’t admit that somewhere deep inside
is that little girl who still believes.

Year Circling

Seas churning
rivers running
rain falling
mood swinging
autumn dying
darkness falling
winter coming
Seas calming
rivers freezing
snow falling
snowman building
dogs barking
Christmas coming
lights twinkling
mothers wrapping
fathers working
children laughing
toys breaking
new year dawning
hope ascending
snowdrops peeping
birds cheeping
springs coming
egg laying
sunlight glinting
gardens waking
earth warming
gardeners planting
sunshine heating
mood lifting
children playing
bike riding
football kicking
picnic eating
people walking
sun shining
days shortening
trees preparing
squirrels hiding
wind blowing
leaves falling
autumn coming
year circling.

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