Fortitudo mea est amor a matre mihi datus,
Coming downstairs slow and steady
crinkled and wrinked with ruffled hair
I hold her dreams close to me –
pausing only at the turning of the stair –
Until I have drunk two strong coffees,
smoked an imaginary cigarette,
said good morning to those I love,
who are now amongst the dead;
recite a quiet antiphon in my muddled head.
Look out of the French windows
into the garden she has spent a lifetime
moulding into scattered beauty,
Hobble on to the back door.
look at the greens and blues and yellows and pinks
like the sprinkling of a symphony,
creation remains unchallenged, undefeated
through all the births, marriages and deaths,
and the little that is left.
She taught me tears are the price of smiles,
and her smile will endure with me,
laughingly, all through all eternity.
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