It is for my mother I write now
these poems about my father,
the visions attempts to conjure him
by a lost son who seeks to soothe her melancholy.
Let it be for her what little anodyne it can be
when she reads this
my tired magic against a faded back-drop,
a show only a mother would applaud.
Let it be. She loved him,
he loved her
despite times of acrimony
because she had done this or that
or had not done this or that
in submission to God,
or in rearing the children,
the influence she was on her youngest
who in their shared love of books
certainly would grow wayward,
and wandering lost in every valley
but home or God’s house.
Let that be. Let it be just
the dim echo of an ache through the years
because, she says,
he grew gentle and softer
and, you hear ring true in her voice,
as she looks down at her hands
then at you, then into the distance.
For her I wish I could return the times
of their early retirement
more than any of this conjuring
by image and doleful metaphor,
to look in the distance long enough
and have him here beside her
from some unseen beyond
that my mother husbands inside
from which he may materialise.