My mother pushes the pram through
a forest of broom
to more solid, roadside shingle.
Had she taken a shortcut
and got us lost? Remembering back
yields my only clues: how tall
my mother was, how breathless
with laughter and how soft
the broom, as soft as the empty fingers
of gloves, the flowers as yellow
as near suns, their perfume as elusive
as the smell of moths.
The photo is of my mother when she was young - and as another poem of mine about her says, 'unencumbered'. It was taken when she had bright, wavy, red hair.
In a span of ten years, she had seven children - three boys and four girls. I was her first and the reason she had to get married! However, it was a happy marriage, until my father died suddenly when I was fifteen.
This left her a thirty-eight year old widow.
She knew none of this was ahead of her when this photo was taken of her down at the beach on a sunny day and in her best dress.
My brave, strong and resilient mother turns 76 this year. Her red hair has been replaced with a head of snowy white hair; a little thin on the top (which her daughters are a little nervous about ... inherited traits?) She is as full of energy and fun as ever.
We love you Mum!