I wrote this whilst contemplating the recent funeral of my great grandmother. I attempted to read it aloud during a poetry workshop but unfortunately couldn’t make it to the end. This is perhaps due, in no small part, to the fact that at said funeral I was given the job of reading Elizabeth Frye’s ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’, of which I did make it to the end, but with a brief stop in the middle to stifle sobs. Credit to my wonderful Aunt, Clairecore for the photograph of my Great Grandmother’s last house.
‘I didn’t know…’
I didn’t know how old you were
when you married
or when you had Anne & Marjorie or Joyce or Mike.
I didn’t know when you lost Joyce.
I wasn’t born, I couldn’t know.
I didn’t know what jobs you had
I vaguely recall a shoe shop
but that might have been someone else.
I didn’t know your favourite song
or poem, or colour, or book
and I didn’t know how you took your tea.
I didn’t know your shoe size
or your blood type or your political views.
all I know is that you were mother of my mother of my mother.
And that I am sorry that I didn’t know.