A Long Walk Home  


People-lover, poet,
Irish blood fine-tunes
life, voice, words and wit;
pinatas, parties,
frivolous foolery.

Please, don’t be alone
if you need me close:
it’s a long walk home.
Like a child, I need you now;
let’s march together.

Mouth open, your words
queue, falter and stop;
I’m inadequate:
wordless, we whisper-sing
our stranded way back home.

We find a new path,
no words to guide us.
Bright eyes shine with hope,
Light beams, holds us together;
I carry you back.

Frail footsteps fade,
Beside my sharp tip-toes,
history crumbles;
I lean into this hollow space
but you slip away.

Black holes of chaos
undo the verbs you need.
Language falters.
No bridges for body functions:
your network is down.

Do you still know me?
I look for you, each
peach-dawn day, I miss
your questions, your smiles, your warmth
Must I watch you leave?

The wait aches and tires
but when the time comes,
the shock hurts me deep.
I hold your paper-dry hand
and our journey ends.
 

Deirdre has been awarded the Robin Ledbury Trophy for this poem which was judged to be outstanding in the 2017 Mid-Somerset Festival. Her mother, Olive Huston, self-publsihed an anthology of poetry, Lifelines, and would no doubt have been tickled pink to be the subject of a mother-daughter poem.