(Mother Grief Poems)
Though my mother was already two years dead
Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas ..
put hot water bottles, her side of the bed
and still went to renew her transport pass.
You couldn’t just drop in you had to phone
He’d put you off an hour, to give him time ..
to clear away her things and look alone
as though his still raw love, were such a crime.
He couldn’t risk my blight of disbelief
though sure that very soon ..
He’d hear her key scrape, in the rusted lock
and end his grief.
He knew she’d just popped out to get the tea
I believe life ends, with death and that is all ..
You haven’t both gone shopping, just the same
in my new black leather phone book there’s your name
and the disconnected number, I still call.
– Tony Harrison