Thirty Years


So much forgotten laughter
and so many remembered tears.
So much clawing, grasping hope,
and so many losses and crashing fears.
So much mutual hurt and pain,
as with hatred you thrust the knife in your side,
and twist it again and again.
While every wound you inflict on yourself
strikes me like icy rain.

So much forgotten laughter,
captured in print when you were a child,
in those distant, sunshine summers
when the woodlands beckoned, so free and so wild.
Your heart was like a flower,
and your hands reached out, by nature beguiled;
and nature rewarded you handsomely,
leaving you innocent, undefiled,
but the clock ticked on, and left us
with so much to be reconciled

So much forgotten laughter
and so many remembered tears,
while the heedless tick of the clock
adds up the stolen years,
dropping each second into the past,
dispensing with time so quick and so fast,
while the future threatens to pass you by,
too lost to live and too gripped to die,
and every day I hope for a clue;
a vestige of someone who used to be you.
And the clock ticks on, like a clockwork train,
while I pray that my prayers are not in vain,
and someday my flower will bloom again.

Dedicated to my troubled daughter, Laura, who is thirty years old today.

©Jane Paterson Basil


31 thoughts on “Thirty Years

  1. too lost to live and too gripped to die,
    and every day I hope for a clue;
    a vestige of someone who used to be you.
    And the clock ticks on, like a clockwork train,
    while I pray that my prayers are not in vain,
    and someday my flower will bloom again.

    So very powerful, Jane…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I expect you realize that, like so many before, this poem was inspired by you…
      BTW, a wierd thing is happening to your f’s. When I read your comments at the bottom of my posts, the f’s are there, but when I go to the drop down thingy on the left of the screen, they’re missing. It’s effing strange…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah… So you got some pictures out then, eh? Maybe that’s very cathartic for you, too? No clue about the fs. My blog is screwing up a LOT lately since they started making changes to this and that and whatever…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Judy, at Lifelesson is having trouble with her f’s, too. I didn’t like the changes – they made the Tags and Categories more cumbersome, but this is ridiculous.
          I don’t find looking at old photos of Laura cathartic – it’s just painful, but I still think they could help her…

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you. The words are what makes it all worthwhile, although at the moment I’m wondering what the heck I’m playing at. I write, I deal with crises, I write, I eat, I write, I go to bed, I get up and I do it all again. While I’m in the process of writing there seems to be a purpose, but afterwards I feel empty. I want to get my work published, but I don’t have the conffidence or energy to take the correct steps, and it doesn’t help that all the interruptions make it impossible to think.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Do you feel empty, Jane, or do you feel unburdened of some of it? Is it possible you might be mixing up the two? As to what to do next, just do the next best thing and don’t look beyond that. And right now that’s editing your writing. The truth is, you don’t know WHAT you’re going to feel like by the time you get it all done. So don’t look beyond the editing process right now. No matter what happens then, the choice is always going to be yours.


    1. It’s the road with the greatest chance of long-term success – if you succeed.
      It didn’t go well – I’ve seen her try so many times before, so I wasn’t expecting much, though I couldn’t say so yesterday.
      By last night she was talking about finding a way to get Methodone to hold her for a few days – the drugs services put addicts on a long-term programme, of supervised methodone medication. The success rate is low, about 3% It’s not good, either physiologically or psychologically, to be on methodone for a long period. The risk of slipping back is too great, for several reasons.
      Unfortunately, Laura is not truly commited to getting clean. She just has occasional moments, when it’s difficult to get the money, and when she realises how close she is to imprisonment or death.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. methadone in my opinion is just adding another layer of addiction in the pretense that it ‘helps’. I remember when they established methadone clinics here. It was so controversial but hailed as a miracle step towards freedom from addiction. These days methadone is available from local pharmacies. When hubby was working still (he had a roller shutter business) he got regular calls from them to come and fix the shutters as people were trying to break in to get at the drugs.
        What a shame Laura hasn’t the strength (?courage) to stick with it. Such a common story unfortunately. And a heartache for friends and relatives. Big hugs to you, Jane xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote that 19 months ago. It feels strange reading it – like visiting a world I invented. Laura’s mind and body were shot to pieces. Her psychiatrist, the drugs service, the police – even the local addicts – all expected her to die. So did I.
      The story of her recovery is a dramatic one – not far short of a series of miracles. I’d like to write it, but I’ve hit a wall. I’m so tired – and relieved to have her back.
      The poem doesn’t scan well, but to change it would feel like a crime.

      Liked by 1 person

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