Her eyes were glassy and for a moment

she stared into nothing,

at what, only she knew,

before a thin lipped smile broke,

one that didn’t curl up at the corners,


‘she was only being daft.’


She looked as if the burden of truth

would break her in two,

fussing over anything,

and everything,

shaking her head to rid her mind

of the troubles that often pop up.


‘It’ll all come out in the wash.’


You would catch her off guard at times,

if you called in on the off chance,

causing panic to ensue,

frantic hands smoothing an apron,

between mirror checks

and deep breaths,


‘what must I look like’


And when she was cross,

her face fixed in disappointment,

but the eyes still soft and kind,

head cocked to one side,

a gesture that was punishment enough,

and made a lad ashamed

when she then ruffled his hair

before making tea,


‘what’s done is done’ she said

8 thoughts on “A MOTHER

  1. Nigel, I just read this and know I should pause before writing but let me say; my eyes are filled
    with tears by the deep love your poem expresses with words seemingly unemotional.
    It is masterly and shows the place you grew up, a woman who worked hard and loved more.
    A son that loves and respect his mother so much.
    How feminine: ” What must I look like”. I love it.

    “And and made a lad ashamed

    when she then ruffled his hair

    before making tea,

    ‘what’s done is done’ she said”

    Brilliant Nigel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this Nigel, it brings back so many memories of mams, grans, aunties (I include those of friends). Those phrases are deeply rooted in the language of our era and I hope they are never lost. My wife has a whole list of ones from her mother which were pertinent to London.

    Liked by 1 person

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