Stephen Holding A White Rose

Stephen Holding A White Rose

My Father never spoke of Stephen
other than to say that I had an older brother
who died when he was just a few days old.

My Mother once told me that my Father
never spoke about Stephen because he saw him
after he had died, with his tiny hands folded,
holding a white rose.

A short time after my Mother died,
I had to search her personal papers,
which I knew she kept in the old blue oval bag.

Amongst the few cherished photographs
of dead relatives and certificates of Births, Marriages and Deaths
was a birth announcement placed in the local newspaper:

"To Kathleen and Ray, the precious gift of a son, Stephen."
In the same small envelope, with the COOP number 56758
forever burned in my memory,
"Received: 1 pound,7 shillings and 6 pence Re: baby Stephen dead."

Moved to tears, I resolved that Stephen's story
should be told at my Mother's funeral,
fifty seven years after his birth and death.
My brother Stephen is not forgotten.
Friday, December 8, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: death of a friend
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
Narrative version of 'Clutching A White Rose'.
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