Poem ~ Stage

 Stage


Seven months on and the world keeps delivering 

your absence: this morning an email reminder 

from Moonpig about your birthday.  You’d be 94. 


Then later, in the chemist, an elderly man, who must have fallen 

outside, sitting by the door while a masked young woman 

cleaned and dressed the wound on his arm.


It’s the gentleness that tears at my heart, his and hers. 

And I remember the kindness of a neighbour who helped you 

home when you’d walked too far along the prom.


‘What’s wrong with me?’ you used to ask as you watched 

the man you knew you were slipping from your grasp. 

Oh Daddy, why can’t I just remember the good times?


Bingo, helping you with your Spanish homework, the time 

we went to Laugharne together to Dylan’s boathouse, 

how you used to say to me, ‘You’re just like your mother.’ 


But still, after all these months, when the curtain first 

goes up on my memory it is the latter darkness 

that steps towards the footlights. I have to believe


this will pass, that grief will loosen its shroud

and the stage will flood with light and I will be

filled with joy, with the grace of your well-lived life. 

1951