We’d had ‘words’, she invalided
severely crippled with arthritis
hardly able to move alone
me, only daughter coping
best I could; part time jobs,
student husband, new town
grabbed baby, plopped her
into weary old Silver Cross.
“YOU’RE ALWAYS THERE!”
My outburst startled each of us;
exiting without a backward glance
I heaved the front door shut behind.
Fresh air, a stroll around parkland
birdsong, happy dogs and walkers
diffuse the situation. We go home.
It’s a mixture of anger and shame.
Thank God happy baby beams
at Grandma in her comfy chair.
Focused on her Mills and Boon
she says softly “Kettle’s boiled”.
Words dissolve like sugar in tea as we drink silently together.
Forty years on in my mind’s eye there’s
a stalwart defying excruciating pain
carrying out a simple task.
You struggled from chair to wheelchair
You stubbornly reached the kitchen sink
Your determination picked up the kettle
Your tenacity held on while it filled
Your generosity tricked us – nearly.