And So She’s Gone

And so she’s gone
freed from a world
where she never found
the safe place she craved
but stayed in her security box
not daring to walk through
its wide open door.

Kept home by her father
except for attending school
his long final illness
forced her out to work
in an alien culture
a strange new world.

Marriage after his death
brought her to a culture
of home, husband, children.

Her husband, proud of supporting
his family kept her at home
with her woman’s work
in a street with few
young families nearby.
Cautious tentative steps
into women’s afternoon meeting
never filled the gulf inside her.
Her children went out to work,
lived with other young room mates
produced partners and children
but never filled her
inner chasm of loneliness.

Now her ashes are scattered
over the flowered patchwork
of the city gardens.

She is released.

And So She’s Gone

Moving On

The children grew up knowing
their schooling was expected
to lead to paid employment
promptly. Their father expounded
this at the dinner table each
night that he was there – which was
erratic as he preferred the
after work company of his
drinking mates at the pub.

Their mother doing her expected
duty attended parent teacher meetings.
On advice received the mother
guided the children to university
to be funded by bursaries,
by holiday and part time work.
The mother had not been allowed
to attend university herself and
was glad her children were to attend.

Too late the father saw that
his children were moving ahead
of him in the job stakes !
He raged at them over the dinner
table each night, denouncing
lazy worthless students.
His children worked hard,
passed their exams, then took
his nightly tirades to heart,
removed themselves from
his home.

The mother was upset.

The father was puzzled.

The nest was empty.

Moving On

The Phone Call

Her familiar voice
sounds over the telephone,
calling for a break
from her loneliness, again.
Across the city the daughter
at home near her professional job
is at a loss for words, again.

Until late marriage
the mother lived her life
at home ruled by her father
until his final illness when she
went out to work at age thirty,
struggling in her new world.

Now her daughter is single,
middle aged, time for her
to settle down in her parents’ home,
look after them. This is the life
the mother knew, keeps hinting.
She is worn out after battling
marriage, husband, children…
…and still lonely.

As she grows older the daughter
has thought she will be able to
link with her mother, find
the fabled mother daughter bond.
“Come home now, it is time
for you to look after us,”
the mother tells her daughter.

And the daughter knows
they will never connect now,
whether she stays in the world
or returns to her parents’ home.

The Phone Call