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Wednesday, 14 June 2017 14:19

The past

By 
What were you thinking, mother

When you handed me a package

with a watch in it, marking my tenth birthday,

as I came to your bed that lonely winter morning?

 

The Rothko painting in the corner an abstract unreachable frieze

Me, mute with my longing for your love –

You, a distant angel, in buttoned-up Victorian nighty –

Dim morning light yellowing the pulled blind.

 

The quiet of that first house

echoes in me now, the years between an empty ache.

 

Later that day you would listen to Mahler's Songs of the Earth

Music heavy as a bowl of stones resting on a table

Covering the record sleeve, Monet’s field of crimson poppies

My father's first gift of music to you.

 

In the deep recesses of memory

You and I lodge

The  decades billowing back

Like soft muslin curtains

 

To show the garden of the soul;

verdant childhood trees  tangling -

The flagstones of my person

Laid down, flooring me.

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