It’s World Poetry Day today, so I hope you don’t mind if I share this poem with you. I began writing it in the last few days of my nan’s life; it’s her funeral today.
My nan was in her nineties, a fiercely proud Italian and about the most headstrong of characters you could ever wish to meet. She loved unconditionally and went down fighting; a real Trojan of a woman.
I don’t know much about poetry and don’t usually write it. The opening lines just appeared in my head on my way to visit her for what I knew would be the final time – she was too ill to soldier on.
Then when I sat down to work on the poem, the words just flowed. Sometimes writing is like that. You don’t know what you want to say until the words emerge on the page. That’s part of the magic.
My nan was a natural-born storyteller and loved to be the centre of things, so I know she’d be thrilled to have her own poem, shared with the world. I can imagine her now, nodding sagely to anyone who’d listen, “my storia, on the compute.” So here it is.
A Poem For World Poetry Day
Death calls me to you like a beckoning hand. You were there at my beginning, I’ll be there at your end.
I wait at your bedside unsure what to wish. I don’t want you to leave us nor to suffer on like this.
I’ve said goodbye often in case death comes too soon. Each time I must pretend like it’s not in the room.
The end must be frightening, I hope you’re not aware. Your body’s calmed by drugs, I pray you’re peaceful sleeping there.
You’re not ours for the keeping, not much longer for this world. You’ve lived your happy years, you’ll soon be floating like a bird.
I’ll remember you exactly, every wrinkle of your skin. It seems as thin as paper but what strength lies deep within.
I’ll recall the love you had for me, for everyone you met. You had the biggest heart, a treasure no one will forget.
Sometimes you loved too deeply, I think that broke you in the end. You never gave up on human nature, fought for family and friend.
The world will be much poorer once all your love has gone. But it will be our wish to see your strength of heart lives on.
So I know your time is short now, let’s these precious moments spend. You were there at my beginning, I’ll be right there at your end.
Over to you
So that was my very small contribution to World Poetry Day. Have you ever written any poetry? Do you have a favourite poet? I always loved the darkness of Sylvia Plath. If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them – please scroll down and type something in the Comments box.
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If this resonated with you, my post From My Heart to Yours. Yours Which Did Not Beat For Long has a similar style.
If you’re interested in the writing process, read my Confessions of a Writer here.
Why not read the clever poem Mirror by Sylvia Plath.
Or check out The Poetry Society website.