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Poems
On My Mother's 80th.
(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

On My Mother's 80th.

There are no answers to your questionings;
If eighty years have not revealed the truth,
Then how could I, this child of your imaginings
Begin to comprehend your loss of youth.

Perhaps you let it slip and lose all meaning
When time last yawned, and you did fall asleep,
Then youth took flight while you stayed still and dreaming
Within some sepia’d year you once did keep.

Wild eyed and worn, you always look about you
And wonder what dismay has brought to this,
The thread of age has tied and bound and caught you
And thoughts of death now tremble at your lip.

But yet, your youth may still be seen and found there
Way back beside an old welsh village pit
Where long dead miners carol ‘Men of Harlech’,
And fresh young girls in neat white pinnies sit;

To wait the miners singing at the darkness,
To wait the steelmen, wandering from the shift,
Until your brothers chaff you in the moonlight
And you go in, sit by the hearth, and sleep.

There are no questions now that I can answer,
There are no harvests left for us to reap,
For youth is spent and wasted on a moment
And age is all that we have left to keep.

9 October 1993

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