For Mam, 1st December 1932 ~ 25th March 2021
Grief keeps changing its shape – a weight
like a kilo bag of sugar compressing my lungs,
sometimes a water smoothed stone that fits
perfectly in the palm of my hand. Yesterday
the heaviest of winter coats that refused
to keep out the chill. Today, I woke and heard
birdsong through the early morning mist
and remembered the last words you wrote
the month before you died – It’s good
to be positive and looking ahead, Lynne.
So here I am running the lanes looking for
all the things I would have shared with you:
the planting of young laurels along the hedgerow
on St Vincent’s Lane, the way the moss
has grown sparsely on one side of the stone bridge
but thickly on the other, and how someone
has laid a plank across the stream to cross
from bank to bank. I think I understand now
that grief remains with us. And I never had to say,
Don’t go, please stay, because you never left me.
Mam, the white wood anemones are like
a carpet of stars. Soon, the bluebells.