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U3A Writing: The Well: 12 Mother

Jack, now a grown up and married, returns home to visit his mother.

Paddy Webb continues her autobiographical poem about her great-great-grandfather who endured great hardships.

To read earlier sections of this poem please visit http://www.openwriting.com/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&search=paddy+webb

Take young Chad next door, Sarah,
Put him to bed.
You and Will are making a rod for your backs,
spoiling the boy.
Here, let me hold him.
Give Grandma a kiss!
When he came today, our Jack
I couldn't believe he was really here.
It was like a new babe in your arms,
Reaching out your hand, touching its cheek.
Here he was, this man, handsome and tall,
My little Jack, grown a man.
My Jack, come home.
Then thick in my throat all the sorrow came,
All the years of pain churning in my stomach.
Married without my knowing,
Married to that girl in her fancy dress.
It was not so far.
I could have gone.
I could have walked.

Did you see the box they brought?
I'll use the tea, I suppose.
There was a handkerchief too, hand stitched.
Do you think she made it?
I've put it away, in a draw, upstairs.

They left the metal water cup
Lying on the seat in the garden.
I drank the drops of water glistening
Cold in the bottom; as if they tasted
Of Jack, my Jack, come home.

See, what did I tell you?
The child's asleep in my arms.
Pick him up and take him home, do.


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