It's four years ago today that my mother died aged 90. So to honour her memory here's a poem I wrote about her just after she had had the stroke which eventually led to her death.
Just After Mum Had Had A Stroke
Where has that voice and smile gone?
The delight at Stephen Gerrard scoring
Or hearing a Joni Mitchell song like
Marcie or Both Sides Now?
She is old, I know, but how unkind
That such a sudden fall should take away
The speech which she relied upon
At a stroke.
Clearly visible, behind
The near fruitless efforts to communicate,
Is the fierce intelligence I knew last week,
The sum total of ninety years of life.
The years of cooking recipes and tending roses,
Of reading Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse,
Of being a mother and a wife
Who always cared and showed an interest
And was obsessed with never being late!
Already I miss her voice
And the woman that she was
And will never be again
Or so the pessimist in me supposes.
It is a son's duty to honour and cherish his mother
So Gurdjieff reminded us.
Well, I felt a sense of obligation
And I have tried, I have tried
I had no other choice.
© Geoff Davis 2007