I was sat at my Mum's bedside Wednesday just gone when I read Barbara Smith's Poetry Bus instructions for this week. A lot of last Wednesday was a peaceful day here – I was fairly oblivious to the change of government (and all that) because all I could focus on was Mum and where she seemed to be heading. There was lots of sunshine and Mum was settled and sleepy for a lot of the day but it was the last day when she was here with us as a personality in any sense and we kind of knew that. She was hard asleep (with sedation) from Wednesday night till she stopped breathing on the Friday morning so Wednesday was the end of our lives together in some ways.
On Saturday I thought 'oh no way, I can post that poem now...I'll miss the Bus this time round...this is not a time for blogging' but then Sunday morning I thought 'well, a person can be wrong...'. Mum loved me writing...she didn't always like what I wrote but she liked the idea of me working and putting my brain to use – she used to say, in her ladylike voice, 'you're a communicator, dear, that's what you are'. So I thought that after all I would post the poem and it's below. It's not a particularly great poem I don't think... not as good, for example, as last week's little opera one that lots of you seemed to like. 'Finale' had some beauty (and don't we all love beauty...I know my Mum did) but this one is more harsh reality with nothing particularly pretty or cultural going on. Still we write life in all its shades and tones, don't we?
Anyway, Barbara's task was to use a given opening line. I was a good girl – I walked the line.
I got down on my knees and smelled the new linoleum
And I wondered as I lowered if my knees could take the strain
They are old, faring ill, not as bendy as they might be
I am old, faring worse, not a stranger now to pain
Once I'm down then I'm down and there's no-one here can lift me
Here I am, on the floor, with my face against the cold
Life is hard, so's the floor, now I'm tired and fit no longer
Here I'll bow, here I'll lie, I am ready now and old
I'll be back on Wednesday with a song for the funeral. It's got a great story to go with it too.
24 minutes ago