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A three-part tribute to my Mom


"She went far away""
was all they would say
She was only two
so her Mother she didn't remember
didn't remember a Mommy's touch tender

She was six when her Daddy died.
Nobody told her; they just sighed ...
But she knew -
read their cue.


Sent to a boarding school,
where there's rule after rule after rule
no love surrounded
her heartache pounded
She yearned for her sister
the last time she kissed her


The girls' faces are bright
It's end of term! What delight!
They'll be with their parents tonight,
tucked up in bed with hugs so tight.


She had no joy to show
She had nowhere to go
No money for train fare
She remained just there


Part two: MARRIED

She chose a caring, self-taught, dairyman's son
from a large family filled with love and fun

As they started life together
my mother changed forever
She'd but one quest:
to be like the rest

Two children she bore
Two souls she would never ignore

With her husband beside
Forward she'd stride


Part three: DARLING MOM - a posthumous letter

Darling Mom

You shot up from young misery
into the strongest tree

You smiled at everyone
like some happy sun

In summer pink flowers
picked with love put in vases

In winter we'd huddle
a family by the fireside

our stoep polished red
visitors popped in
for a hot cup of tea
and a good tĂȘte a tĂȘte

I remember:
Hens pecking in the garden
and laying their eggs
under cool bushes
for us to collect

We watched chicks as they hatched
kittens being born

I remember:
The wonder of silkworms
the bunny park
and feeding the goats
catching tadpoles
in streams
and sailing paper boats

I remember:
friends aplenty
swinging in the garden
playing in the sandpit
and holidays by the sea

And so our foundations were laid

Our lives were orderly
peaceful and free

What more could one need?

Mom, you cared
Mom, you strived
Your sad past thrust aside

I miss you, Mom

Thank you

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