Dining Out - Poem by Tony Jolley
Happy 75th Birthday, Mum…
Though’ I guess you’re not keeping score anymore
[Unless it’s 21 and never, ever ‘out’! ]
It’s not too easy either to envisage
Anything you might need or want in your mansion,
Which, come to think of it, is just as well
Given the delivery distance
And the price to be paid to The Ferryman.
I’ll play postman when I’m in the neighbourhood, ok?
No – I don’t know quite when:
Sometime between ‘now’ and ‘then’
But probably sooner than I would wish
And a whole lot later than others might want!
They say: “Life is in the journey” –
Ironic really, given giving up the ghost is the one-way ticket.
Bet you dined out on that one!
Point of fact: can you dine out on any one?
Indeed, do you dine at all?
Despite the distance
I guess you’ll have heard the news
That I finally allowed myself to admit
I couldn’t make the marriage work
And faced up to the fact
That it was pointless pretending
I could survive a loveless life anything like intact.
For Life is the only ocean of opportunity to love and be loved,
Time the tide that sweeps it to our shores
And Will the power that pitches us headlong into the current of our choosing.
So I finally left upon the late tide,
My Ever Love to stand beside.
I’ve tried all I know of right and reason,
Applied all I have learned in the way of wisdom and waiting,
Sought the sanctuary of justice in extremis
Only to find a travesty where a father doesn’t feature
And possession is ten-tenths of the ass of law.
So, Mum, could you keep a weather eye on the kids for me?
No matter how far in space or time
I guarantee your vantage point is better than mine.
I miss them as you know I miss you…
Yet they feel more lost: my two.
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