Mother’s Day in 1988 was Sunday, 13th. March and has a particular significance, because it was the day that “our Mam” died in the Queen’s Hospital in Nottingham, so I was keen to write something on this 30th. anniversary. Rhyming poetry is my preferred form, but I thought I’d see if I could write a poem with half-rhymes as line endings as it’s less intrusive and perhaps more serious than my usual stuff. Wilfred Owen’s World War I poem, “Strange Meeting”, is a brilliant example.
It’s Mother’s Day; it’s Mothering Sunday
with shades of meaning for all and sundry:
a simple “Thank You”; a floral gesture;
recognition of beloved progenitor;
something heartfelt, sincere and tender
a gushy card or double entendre-
laden, red-cheeked, seaside-saucy (think McGill).
30 years ago, our bedside vigil,
with false alarms, drew softly to a close,
as if she offered us an unavoidable excuse.
Pauses stretched between her stertorous breaths
she, interminably becalmed in mini-deaths,
until that pallor once rouged cheeks imbued
and we each clasped a hand helpless by her bed,
her heart’s drum beating the retreat, then gone
and our era of memories began.
So Mother’s Day holds that added poignancy
when thoughts of Lucy come with frequency
and conjure bitter sweet “Remember when…”s
and send us to our keyboard or our pens.
Beware the almost Ides of March, my friend
when Death calls time and brings Life to its end.