Tony Harrison

(1937 - / Leeds / England)

Long Distance Ii - Poem by Tony Harrison

Though my mother was already two years dead
Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas,
put hot water bottles her side of the bed
and still went to renew her transport pass.

You couldn't just drop in. You had to phone.
He'd put you off an hour to give him time
to clear away her things and look alone
as though his still raw love were such a crime.

He couldn't risk my blight of disbelief
though sure that very soon he'd hear her key
scrape in the rusted lock and end his grief.
He knew she'd just popped out to get the tea.

I believe life ends with death, and that is all.
You haven't both gone shopping; just the same,
in my new black leather phone book there's your name
and the disconnected number I still call.


Submitted by Scott Dagostino


Comments about Long Distance Ii by Tony Harrison

  • Muzahidul Reza (4/6/2018 12:11:00 AM)


    put hot water bottles her side of the bed
    and still went to renew her transport pass......... well penned
    (Report) Reply

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  • Joshua Adeyemi (4/5/2018 5:36:00 PM)


    He couldn't risk my blight of disbelief
    though sure that very soon he'd hear her
    key
    scrape in the rusted lock and end his grief.
    He knew she'd just popped out to get the
    tea.
    (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (4/5/2018 12:07:00 PM)


    The emotions and events are so poignantly expressed.
    It tugs at the heart. Beautiful poem dear poet.
    I loved it.
    (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (4/5/2018 8:56:00 AM)


    This is a great poem, I think, in its poignancy, wry humor and wisdom, and the craft that packages it. The last stanza both follows and surprises with what precedes it—it’s a kicker, a flourishing finish, an exclamation point to the whole. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (4/5/2018 3:50:00 AM)


    and the disconnected number I still call.
    Wow, such a beautiful write. Thanks for the sharing.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (4/5/2018 2:07:00 AM)


    Such a brilliant poem by Tony Harrison👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Ruta Mohapatra (3/18/2018 2:02:00 PM)


    Love conquers death. Well written! (Report) Reply

  • (1/7/2018 9:04:00 AM)


    Through the experiences and challenges of daily life, I forgot the depth of Tony Harrison's work. (Report) Reply

  • (12/1/2017 11:38:00 PM)


    Beautiful poem.Ths poem is heart touching poem.Thanksgiving for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (11/26/2017 12:52:00 PM)


    Tony Harrison is hands down the greatest poet England has produced in the last 50 years. Even better than G. Hill. (Report) Reply

  • (11/26/2017 8:57:00 AM)


    This poem is quality reminds me of my glory days.... (Report) Reply

  • Julie Smith (4/5/2017 3:49:00 PM)


    It's the most terrible thing ever when someone you love is gone... Beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

  • (4/5/2017 12:33:00 PM)


    Sometimes people build shrines to the memories of those they loved and lost..A headstone or an urn are too cold but personal possessions of the loved one are closely heartfelt as a reminder..Life may end when we physically die but memories remain alive for as long as someone lives and loves.. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/5/2017 9:43:00 AM)


    Just the same! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (4/5/2017 7:53:00 AM)


    Skillfully crafted a veiled truth just waiting to be unveiled by our time. Fantastic the expression to make us believe the fact abstract but unavoidable. Beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (4/5/2017 2:41:00 AM)


    End his grief.... thanks for posting.., , (Report) Reply

  • (4/5/2017 2:18:00 AM)


    a poem of how some of us deal with the loss of a loved one? beautifully written. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (4/5/2017 1:49:00 AM)


    A very sad poem indeed. How overwhelming is the absence of our loved ones when the are not around. Thanks a lot for sharing the same. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (11/25/2016 9:03:00 AM)

    Heart Felt
    Inspiring and sentiments filled poem....10++ (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (2/23/2016 4:07:00 PM)


    This poem is heart-wrenching- it just plain rips your guts out of your body and puts a torch to your heart. (Report) Reply

Read all 26 comments »

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Read poems about / on: shopping, grief, believe, mother, water, alone, death, time, life



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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