HOW MORTAL IS GRIEF.

Me in 1948

Words come hard now my elder family
members are deceased. I now am eldest.
The realisation that I am next
in line for the morgue, for eternal sleep,
weighs, heavily, as I try to recall.
I think about those now gone before me.
Moments remembered now only by me,
shared solely between me and them alone.
Tenderness, laughter, anger, fun and love.
Many thoughts flood my mind in a jumble
of unconnected images and sounds.
Weddings, Birthdays, Christmas time, and parties.
Those days, long gone, only I know about.
Holidays, tete a tetes in restaurants,
songs played just for me at the piano.
Wee Willie Harris on Six Five Special,
in black and white in grandmother’s kitchen,
air rifles and golf clubs in grandad’s shed,
cigarettes, brandy and Coty L’Aimant,
every last one of them stood round the font.
Mostly the waters we sailed on were smooth.
Rarely did storms rage, well not openly.
Now that I’ve risen on high, from beneath,
do I understand how mortal is grief.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 4th August 2021.