Once Back Then

When school was up I ran to the gate,

I was very young and it was winter rain

And I had forgotten my coat.

I was hungry and waiting, searching every face,

Like one of those little dogs left on the motorway.

One by one the mothers collected their children and took them home.

I was left standing by the gate alone.

Still optimistic,

Trying to make every stranger's face into her face.

But time went by and she didn't come.

Suddenly I saw them running across the playground,

All those teachers and adults,

Running straight for me.

By now the darkest foreboding was in my heart as they grabbed hold of me.

I fought and struggled and they dragged me back into the school.

They crammed food into my mouth

And wiped my face and blew my nose hard and hurting,

Not gentle the way she did it.


Your mother has left, they said, she won't be coming.

I cried and choked on my tears.

I wouldn't do anything they said,

I was depressed and sullen and I hated them.

And then I saw a shaft of light,

Like a giant halo,

The sun piecing in the winter cloud.

She had changed her mind and returned to collect me,

No matter how much she longed for her freedom,

She couldn't forget me.

I gave her all my love and hugs and forgiveness

But I never trusted her completely again . . . .

◄ To The Sea

Who Will Be There ? ►


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Fri 18th Jan 2019 17:11

Hi Hannah
I got quite upset reading this but it's perfectly observed the way the piece develops and you get insight into the incident from a child's viewpoint
Touching and well written


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jennifer Malden

Thu 17th Jan 2019 14:57

Great writing - hope it isn't autobiographical. One can tell you understand kids.

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Thu 17th Jan 2019 12:29

Nice..I felt this one.

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Chris Bainbridge

Thu 10th Jan 2019 23:44

An excellent piece, and so evocative. I can really relate to this. Thank you - and well done!

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Martin Elder

Mon 7th Jan 2019 21:25

Fabulous Hannah. I do not know whether this is total artistic licence, and I hardly wish to pry, But this poem totally touched me on a personal level bringing back memories through the mists of time when I was a young by of no more than five and waiting for my mother to come and pick me up from school. I thought she had forgotten me, but she was ill with a chest infection and was delayed coughing and wheezing she eventually came for me.
Marvellous poem Hannah. Thanks for posting

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Hannah Collins

Thu 3rd Jan 2019 18:08

Thank you everyone for all the beautiful insightful comments.
So enjoyed reading them.
Happy New Year to everyone.

Hannah xx

<Deleted User> (16837)

Tue 1st Jan 2019 02:05

Some imprints are never washed away, some sins never forgiven....still life goes on, heartbreaking poem.....well written n nicely expressed?

<Deleted User> (16099)

Tue 1st Jan 2019 01:01

once again Hannah all my prayers and thoughts to you... P.s. I would of waited with you there for a lifetime...

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 31st Dec 2018 19:23

A splendid 'good-bye' to the 'old year' with hope and insightful wisdom for the 'new'. I agree utterly that 'trust' and 'forgiveness' are separate entities of the human psyche,

<Deleted User> (19913)

Mon 31st Dec 2018 00:59

Hannah, this is beautiful and heartwrenching. As a mother it moved me very much. Xx

Big Sal

Sun 30th Dec 2018 20:54

Entrusting oneself to silence and darkness begets nothing but fret and worry. However, to rise above that when hopes are not diminished but rather accomplished - that is always a sight to behold.

Reminds me of a book I'll have to remember the title of. Until then, well done on another great piece.

New Year be kind to us.

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Paul Sayer

Sun 30th Dec 2018 20:38

Hannah what we write could be factual or could be inspired by some muse or another.

True poetry IMHO is all of these and none of these

If it touches our hearts it IS poetry!

This my friend is wonderful, insightful, and truly a heartfelt piece of poetry.


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keith jeffries

Sun 30th Dec 2018 19:41

this work of art was written with an open heart which takes the reader both in body and soul to the scene you describe, filled to the brim with emotion

Thank you for this


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