Those Days That Seemed To Go On Forever
Poem by Sean Joyce
They are gone forever
those days that seemed to go on forever.
And as I lie awake
in the twilight of the morning
it becomes increasingly difficult
to re-create in my mind
the days of my youth.
Yet, in any waking walking movement
‘round the small gardens of this safe place
the sight of two bee-busy jam-jars
standing among geraniums,
can bring to mind all the hustle and bustle
of my grandmother's farmhouse kitchen.
And if, with my stick,
I tap a jar or tease the pungent odours
from those homely plants,
then whole moments from the past become the present
and before the weight of my stick
has returned it to the ground,
I seem to have re-lived
the best part of an afternoon
from almost seventy years before.
I sat at the kitchen table.
Not wanting to eat my vegetables.
But my aunts, my aunts, my lovely awful aunts,
these would-be mothers
outdoing each other in bossiness.
They harangued me from every side.
When my tears broke through I ran and hid
my elbows wrapped around my ears
in the middle of the kitchen floor.
Then and now
across that well remembered kitchen
I see my grandmother sitting by the open fire.
And she has caught me with her eyes.
Then with her eyes she kissed me.
Then and now she kissed me,
and all the anguish and the misery
of a small child's day
is melted away.
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