Image by kind permission of

I travelled far
past towns and cities
past unfamiliar
soft spring growth,
my aged hands
uncurled to gently
expose the heart
of an unripe youth.

I let her go
to walk the highway
to stroll along
the bedrock lane
all down the path
cut through the meadow
and to step beyond
the green door again.

Memory’s sunlight
gold-glowed the kitchen
as a mother’s love
wrapped me around
and by her side
I aped her actions
of cleaning and cooking
and love without sound

Now I was close
to my destination;
I eagerly followed
the child I had been
But the lane had narrowed,
the path had been furrowed
and the door was aged
And no longer green.

And when I entered
the dim-lit kitchen
the plaster lay
on the floor by my feet
The room was smaller
and meaner than memory
and all of my hopes
were crushed by defeat.

Memory’s sunlight
was absent before me
No mother’s love
wrapped me around
No friendly clatter
invaded the kitchen
no breathing presence
of love with no sound.

Even the childhood
I’d nurtured within me
In the blood of my veins
and the core of my heart
had slunk away weeping,
leaving me lonely,
her absence a tunnel
that tore me apart.

I’d travelled so far
in search of re-union
but I didn’t allow
For the terrible cost.
My mother’s body
Lay in a coffin
But I hadn’t believed
That she really was lost.

© Jane Paterson Basil


7 thoughts on “DENIAL

  1. Thank you for the post. As travel down the lane with the character, I thought of the time when I went to the street that I grew up. I saw my boyhood home. It looked old and gray. My mother passed away when I was 18 and she 36. That was 44 years ago. Without my mother’s love, I am still lost without her loving care. Thank you for a beautiful poem. I am grateful for your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dale, I’m so sorry I responded to your message as soon as I read it, but must have forgotten to send. It is terrible to have lost your mother so early in life. I really feel for you. I was 49 when my mother died. Over ten years have passed, and yet whenever I receive unexpected good news, I reach for the phone, to share it with her. In spite of the shock that follows, I have learned to love those moments, when just for an instant she is alive in my head. But it is different for me. She died in her eighties.
      A child cries for its mother, even when that child is 60.
      Thank you for your support, it means a lot to me. I thought I had lost it when I posted a particular poem. (which was based on something that happened to me) I apologise for any offence I may have inadvertantly caused.

      Liked by 1 person

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