New-born Day

This is my post for today’s Writing 2201 Poetry assignment. The required them is ‘Fog, and is is an Elegy which is meant to include metaphor. I think I slipped up a bit on the metaphor today. While I initially wanted to fulfil the requirement, I felt that it was a story which required a simple tone. I’ll try to make up for my omission in a later poem.

I haven’t written anything like this for a while If it fails to impress, a can only apologise. Perhaps it is a good poem, or perhaps it belongs in the bin. I will have no idea unless you tell me.


“Oh Mummy the fields are so fragrant today
a warm breeze ruffles the fresh-cut hay
and caresses my face as I’m laying in bed
it’s a new-born day oh Mummy,” she said

“Oh mummy the church bells are chiming for me
I can hear the notes as clear as can be
my heart’s full of feathers, I’ve smiles in my head
it’s a lovely day oh Mummy,” she said.

“Oh Mummy I’ve got almost everything here
music and sunshine fill me with cheer
but I feel a little lonely as I lie in this bed
oh Mummy I want my doll,” she said

All around me the kindness of sweet bouquets
with fragrance drawn out by summer haze
cluttered the room around the hospital bed
“Oh Mummy I want to get up,” she said

Through shrivelling misery I held my smile
and gently suggested that she rest awhile
at the sound of my voice her eyes filled with dread
“What have you done with my Mummy,” she said

Shaking she drew the sheet over her chest
a frightened beast with a terrifying guest
gnarled claw clutching her grey downed head
“Grandma, I wish you knew me,” I said

As I backed far away to allay her fears
my throat constricted with unshed tears
while a nurse slipped in with silent tread
“I can take over now,” she said

As I left the room I heard grandma say
“Who was that lady who came today?
where is my Mummy? Where is my doll?”
and she spoke to the tune of the church bell’s toll.

© Jane Paterson Basil

36 thoughts on “New-born Day

  1. I am so touched by your elegy. My mother began to experience dementia but not to the point that she didn’t know me–except for a few times she thought I was someone else. It really is beautiful. I’m glad you posted it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Another incredible poem that speaks to the heart! And I think you fulfilled today’s assignment beautifully. Your couplets have the same rhythm as the examples that I looked up, and your poem is definitely elegy. Kudos!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Recently I have been very focused on the rhythm of my words ,and it must be paying off. Maybe I’ll see if my grandson will set it to music – he’s a musician, although most of his work is rap. His style inspired yesterday’s concrete poem, which is possibly better than this one.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Very touching, and a nice twist, as at first, I thought the voice was that of a child. Having sat with a parent during their final days, who was sometimes in the hear and now, and occasionally back in the South Pacific during WWII, I could really identify with your subject matter. One small suggestion, if you had capitalized ‘Mummy’, I wouldn’t have envisioned being in ancient Egypt for a brief moment there at the beginning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that for your kind words.
      You have a point about Mummy. I was sleep deprived when I wrote the poem – hadn’t been to bed for 36 hours when I started it! It’s a bad habit of mine.
      I’ll go and edit it now.


    1. Thank you Sirena… You wouldn’t say that unless you meant it, would you? I have high regard for your opinion, and i would really like to know it if the word ‘beautiful’ translates to ‘very nice but…’ or ‘repulsively sentimental’ or similar.


  4. Such imagery! At first I thought it was a mother reviewing losing a child who was talking to her from death. Then I got the idea it was a young woman and her grandma. You really pulled me in. I read some of your other work. You’ve been practicing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jane, that’s a kicker! Love your imagery (feather in her heart? beautiful). Starts off so light, so airy. Then the moment with the grey hair comes and it’s like a punch to the chest. Very powerful.
    Have you read ‘Elizabeth is missing’ by Emma Healey? A mystery told through the eyes of a woman with dementia- heartbreakingly great.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very sad for the loved ones but I believe that for the person with Alzheimer’s its a different reality that is not necessarily unpleasant…….xox 💗

    Liked by 1 person

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