My mother

For My Mother

Are they around you now, in the half-light
Those you knew, so long ago.
And do they smile in greeting
As they said they would, at this final meeting,
As they promised they would, so long ago.

Is your mother there, by the leaded-grate
Setting cup and saucer and fork and knife,
Side by side, of your tea-time plate.
And your Polish boy, is he waiting in the street,
I wait at corner, he would say
That's where you two would meet
And walk, by the clattering mill,
In the early evening light,
You lost him then, in Normandy;
Does he wait again, this night.

For you alone hear foot-steps
Faintly, down the lane,
They echo your husband's whistle
And children's laughter, in the rain.
They speak of a caravan, shaded
Under leafy spreading trees
Of a country road in summer
And heat-haze, in the breeze.

For the years now, have no meaning
You have beaten time, at last,
Just a girl again, by the school gates
And the present is the past.
And the present is as nothing
And ceases with the pain
Like light viewed, through a prism
It comes around, again.

No endings or beginnings
So easy to understand,
Now doubts and fears are swept away
By some almighty hand.
As half light becomes full light
And its brilliance hurts your eyes
You smile, in joy and greeting
As from your bed, you rise,
For the pain has gone, forever
And your present is your past,
Life's hands have moved, full circle,
You have beaten time, at last.

For my Mother, Isla Maclean Martin,
1923 - Dundee October 25 - 2007.