Long Distance Ii

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.


Submitted by Scott Dagostino

by Tony Harrison

Comments (26)

put hot water bottles her side of the bed and still went to renew her transport pass......... well penned
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.
The emotions and events are so poignantly expressed. It tugs at the heart. Beautiful poem dear poet. I loved it.
This is a great poem, I think, in its poignancy, wry humor and wisdom, and the craft that packages it. The last stanza both follows and surprises with what precedes it—it’s a kicker, a flourishing finish, an exclamation point to the whole. -GK
and the disconnected number I still call. Wow, such a beautiful write. Thanks for the sharing.
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