Mother

First I brought you petals from collapsed roses

And you would hold them wet and full of dew

And marvel with me the drops reflecting

Shifting clouds across a happy sky.

You would colour shells, throw and catch,

Dry-run obstacle courses, play chase

On hazy, butterfly-full, yawning days.

I’d hand you pictures painted

Pots I’d fashioned, wild stories dreamt up

Stones gathered, cards and artless stuff.

And I would scan your face and wait

To see the glow of mother, smiling down at me.

The thrill of walking with you in the snow

Coats and hats and scarves so tightly curled

Arm up to reach your hand in mittened glove.

Never let go never let go never let go.

The smell of mother, glam before you left

For a night out with Dad, hung in the air.

Pinned under crisp white sheets, waiting

For the kiss that sealed the energetic day.

And much later, when we’d grown,

Friday phone calls from dark and echoing uni halls.

Saying nothing, listening for moments

Waiting to hear your voice. Home.

We flew and grew and you would write,

Every week, letters held and cherished.

We sent you news, brought you babies,

Which you would hold, like petals.

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