Thursday, 5 August 2010

Day Five

My Nan

She came up in my freewrite tonight and I'm not surprised she was a wonderful, loving certainty in my life all through my childhood and beyond. She survived her daughter (my mum), her son-in-law (my dad) and her much beloved husband. And she always called me her favourite...this poem is about her unending will.

It has evolved in rewriting as a sonnet, which I think mirrors her strength in its form except I've added an extra 2 lines because she was more than the average! Call me a poetry renegade, if you will.

Survival expert

Encircled in her arms, rice paper skin
pulling tight, taut over strong, hardy bones.
Whist drive on a Sunday, she let me win,
everytime, without fail, no groans, no moans.
Over-feeding my soul with cream cake love -
soothing me, stronger than her will to live.
Her daughter dead, her husband in awe of -
couldn't stay longer, nothing left to give.
But I was still here. I watched her that day;
when they lowered him cold into the ground.
Her face was a mask, remembering him.
But I saw the love that oozed as she prayed -
Saw her almost buckle under the mound
of grief that threatened her with sink or swim.
She swam that day, I believe, for me-
Her favourite grandchild, as strong as the sea.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, Kate, you have made me cry. I have said it before..I love the bravery with which you write. You lay it all out for us. Just wonderful xxxx

  2. Now I'm crying too! In a good way xxx

  3. oh god lovely Kate - I did cry - dear dear Peggy, I wish she had been my gran!


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