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  • christine

The Mother

When I write as a poet sometimes I use real things which have happened sometimes reporting them faithfully and sometimes having to convey an emotion or essence. In this poem the mother undoubtedly loved the little girl her daughter. But the death of her son was so devastating she could only struggle to survive her grief, hence sending her daughter away to be cared for.

I only ever wanted a family

To belong, to love

To share

Not this. Not this despair

My first born, My…


My baby, my child, my boy…

We came through the war

Why now? Why again?

Why do my children die?

Broken, I am broken…

The oven door open

The gas taps on

Then… the cry.


I turn, not now,

Not now.

My pain it overwhelms


‘Mammy, Mammy’.

I smell her hair,

I touch her skin.

Why do I not feel


For her?

I’m numb, surrounded

By cotton wool


I need to go

Pack the bag,

Take the small hand

And to the train

As…I try to ignore

My pain.

I pass her to my Aunt

And return

To the empty house

And sit… and stare

And… stare

Read anything

I can find

Repeat, and repeat

The empty words.

It’s all I’ve got

To distract my mind.


Print available to purchase in A4 on recycled fine art paper £15


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