Bending to tie my shoes, seems a little
Harder this year, I sit, baggy trousered,
Caressing the old blue photo album,
Embossing slightly worn, occasional
Pages are a little loose now. Opened;
Love lost remembered, discovered
Between stuck-together pages, brushing
The grey stubble on my chin, grinning, my head,
Bow’d slightly, silently reminiscing.
Bairns now grown, girls now grans, adults long dead.
The dented kettle boils, its’ aged long
Blackened spout pouting wisps of warm mist.
“Come on, time for tea.” She used to call us,
In that everyday voice, that home-spun warm tone,
Voices from a childhood world we did not
Realise would end so soon. Done play’n, done work’n,
We noisily brought our mess in, our human stain,
Generation upon generation.
Skilled in hand, passionate in deep breath,
Long tribal memories not passed on,
No secret diaries or home-crafted poems,
Just a few edge-discoloured photos
Of familiar, half-familiar faces.
Ah now, which cup? Funny how tea seems to
Taste better in the old cracked one,
Stained brown patterns, worn timeless with age.
Lived in, doubted in and dreamed in.
The old kettle rattles to a grudging
Halt, satisfied. A homely job well done.
A satisfied human life well lived,
A few cracks here and there, well worn with age,
Lived in, loved in and dreamed in.
© David R. Durham