(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

That Boundless Passion (Revised)

Mother complains of headache and flu
in the old-age home, sign she is bored,
no tests, crises, or intrigues to attend;
I remember her hating boredom, she
left usual tasks undone, beds unmade
kitchen in a terrible state, taking us to
visit a friend instead

Dad and grandma returned to find an
empty house in chaos; on our return
mother charmed them playing piano;
ten years ago mother was paralysed
in bed, a friend called, inviting her on
a trip – she jumped up, roaring to go,
carrying her own bag downstairs

Moments before Sister had served her
in bed; depression’s the same with me,
overwhelming flu taking hold until an
interest ignites new passion, cured in
an instant I move like lightning – I wish
it was possible to help mother conquer
inability to deal with fear of boredom

If only she could find a victim in distress
to care for, helping others always makes
her feel cheerful, if only someone would
provide a focus for all that boundless
passion I inherited from her…

13 June 2013

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