Gratitude, Whatever

Grey afternoon, no one about,
I slipped on my allotment,
crashed onto my winter strawberry bed,
scraped my leg.

Sitting on the plastic chair
in front of my shed,
I wept the sadness of
two empty grieving days.

Yet again,
given what I needed.

Trust builds.


Hard Work

My friend let drop,
“My mother was wonderful.
She adored us.
We always felt special and precious.”

Such a kernel of strength
in those tiny bodies,
her love growing with them into adulthood,
safe to be soft on the outside.

But at my centre an empty hollow,
easily crushed.
Wisely I built
an impenetrable hard outer shell.

Later, much later,
it took years
to dare to break it open,
bit by slow bit,
allowing my feelings to slip in and out.

And others’ feelings too.

Till at last,
shell cast off,
my centre
is packed, like my friend’s,
with precious hoarded love.


Less is Less


I was without.

My three brothers were with,
their boyhood displayed
in every bath-time, weeing,
dressing, undressing.

No words to suggest
to them, or me,
that I had anything


Potato Soup

I liquidise my potato and onion soup,
with a hand-held blender.

However long I do it,
somehow there are always
a few persistent pieces of potato,
lurking in my lunchtime bowl.

Like the emotional baggage of my life,
the old childhood issues I have
worked on repeatedly in therapy.

They still reappear, familiar and unwanted,
clumsily lumping my hard-won smoothness.