Elegy

Elegy

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,
“westernised”
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,
more loving,
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.

2 Responses to Elegy

  1. Irwan Bajang says:

    and, you hear ring true in her voice,
    more loving,
    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,

    realy likes this part, my bro….

    Hei! I got hooked on reading your poetry in this blog!!

  2. TT says:

    She loved him and he loved her…that’s an apt description for your parents. Although I was just a kid when we visited Paarl, and maybe even slept over once or twice in your old bedroom ( you must have been away at Varsity), I remember the love, warmth and laughter in your home and with your parents. Only last week I saw your mom at the Paarl festival and although I have not seen her in probably more than 20 years she recognized me in a crowd of people. I was quite astounded! The same warm, lovely woman and as beautiful as ever even with the extra lines on her face. Seeing her made me a bit nostalgic…glad I get to follow your work ;)

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