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The Ebb of Life (Fading away), 2017

I wrote this sitting in the kitchen at my Mum’s house, in Wales. If we see our parents or grandparents, regularly, this is something we must all endure; seeing vigorous, energetic people gradually fading away, the sound of shuffling steps rather than strides, the laboured breathing, the struggle to get out of the chair, each day a little harder, each year the memory a little foggier.

I find this a hard thing to see, especially when I realise that there have been so many missed opportunities to get to know my Mum better, so many things I haven’t asked that she now can no longer remember and that there is nothing that can be done to undo any of these things.

We must all just slowly watch those we love fade away.


The Ebb of Life (Fading away)

I watch you there,
Over by the sink
Or climbing the stair

A little more bent,
A little less certain
About what is meant

Each year more frail
Your steps slower
Your recollections fail

Living slowly somehow
Your strength ebbing,
Everything hard now

In the grey zone
Between life and death,
A life now on loan

My heart breaks
To see you so,
My soul aches

As you fade more
Each passing year,
Your old bones sore

I know you so well
And at once so little
At the tolling bell

The missing years
The untold stories
The unknown fears

I want to hang on so
To what is left
But I must let go

We must all depart
Before anyone’s ready
Torn heart from heart

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