I’ve reworked this poem a few times now. My darling mother was ill when I wrote it and now she has since passed. The themes conjure up images of my grandmother’s home and my mother’s home as they lay empty in those days and weeks after they died.
For some reason I feel as though I never want to finish this piece, as though my imagining myself walking through her house will bring the end back to me, as though writing each verse somehow keeps the house warm.
Unwashed, the window dust and dirty grey
Hangs on the view from inside the house,
And there, none but crumbs feed the waiting mouse,
Who’ll, hungry, lonely, likely not long stay.
Untold, stories’ echo living in the walls,
Walls, covered dirty brown and faded white,
Where once the room was filled and glowed with light,
And the air alive with chatter and with calls;
Unread, the letters lay in wait upon the sill
With expectant eyes for long awaited news
Now shut away the perfect sunlit views,
As though the clouds have rolled upon the hill.
Unknown, the passersby will soon forget
The forgotten name and the forgotten face
And soon the house, a forgotten place
The passerby with no loss knows no regret.
Unsaid, the love has passed, its lost and gone
And family names and friends lost from sight
Now no stories laughed at through the night
Where once the lamp light brightly shone.
Unnamed, photographs sit with none to see,
The much loved, gaze and smile, locked in time,
The time trapped clocks unwound forget to chime,
Cold, the fire silent like the long dead tree.
Unseen, the portraits sit where none can look,
The ancient paint sits in dark and dull
And forgotten scenes in dusty lull
Where the shadows fall on the long closed book;
Unloved, the rugs lay silent in the night,
Under footless steps of lethargic ghosts,
Who search, for warm comfort from the hosts,
Cold corridors of quietness to light.
Untouched, the proud garden flowers grow wild,
The earth not turned nor wet and weed covered,
The flowers not picked for the beloved,
The lonely playground empty of the child.
Unmoved, the kettle rusted, bare and dry,
Where cups sit empty in saucers on their side,
Where silence pours out nothingness all dried,
Like the voice all spent from the saddened sigh.
COPYRIGHT GRANT FENTON 2018