She stands, but not still

Written for my mother on her 70th birthday.

She stands, but not still.

Stubborn,

all-embracing,

worrying,

doing,

chastising,

remembering,

surviving,

loving God

by loving the rest of us

more than we deserve.

No-one dies while she lives to remember.

Jack will go on ‘killing’ the cow.

Stella will still walk two miles to the cemetery and three back.

Billy will grin under that sailor’s cap.

Kath will give cheek to the world.

Joyce’s fag will defy gravity while she laughs her love.

And a young bloke, too handsome for a girl’s good,

will walk down a Coburg aisle, in a uniform

from an unfinished war

and take the girl from Ky, forever.

At three score and ten, she is the keeper of the time keys

and now her children live in the rings of her still growing tree.

Lorraine lives with her in Mt. Gambier rooms.

This boy returns from the dead to get lost in long grass.

Denise plays permanently sun-dressed in Darwin heat.

For ourselves, we believe we are other people now.

She is less sure

and watches for tell-tale signs in her grandchildren,

who are equally certain of their unique place in the universe

but who carry their grandparents into the new millennium,

not as a burden but a marked trail

in case they ever lose their way.

 

She is all time and all time is now.

She stands, but not still.

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