Go Softly, Go Gently
Go softly my sweet mother,
Your work here now done.
Return home to where once –
– your life had begun.
Those stories, how I’ll miss them,
Of eleven kids in that tiny house.
No mod cons or need for digital diversions.
A house full of raucous laughter – certainly.
Those stories and tales you told with such glee ..
Of your stern but loving father as well as your minuscule Mum,
Always wearing a beaming smile –
So soothing when things got tough.
Of the Germans rolling into town, hot and keen to get clean:
“Bitte schon, kann mann hier ins Wasser waschen?”
“Of course you can, go right ahead,” you, your childhood chums had said,
Knowing full well how dire the state of the stagnant canal.
So many stories ..
I loved how you laughed out loud when recounting
That home visit to our ailing Dad, by that strapping tall parish priest.
Unaware of the plunging depth, he sank back into that leatherette trapdoor armchair,
exclaiming ex cathedra: “Damn it, what the Hell’s that?!!”
Laughter always, even when the pain was there.
And there was pain.
When I think of you, I see you holding fast onto my doona,
When lost in Paris for days on end ..
Your son – so lost – and sometimes still.
You told me later, much later –
Long after I’d been found:
You’d felt me .. sensed me .. held me wrapped so tightly –
– deep within that doona dream.
Told me you knew just one thing then –
I was still alive, though far from well ..
Your Phil, now, is waiting – arms outstretched.
Can you see his welcoming, glorious smile?
No Mum, today you don’t have to go to Dialysis.
You can go home to Pa when you yourself feel ready
– and join in peace with him.
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