Why Is A Duck?

One half the same
Two names the same:
middle and last
they link to my past
because you’re not my present
because you’re not present

Three with you in common: two half and one wholly
Forgetting what bound us as soon as you left
Five A.M. we were roused,
ears attacked with news we were too young to hear
or bear

Six days shy of my mother’s birthday
Ascending to that old tired rhyme of seven’s
The family descended en masse and we
ate and reminisced and I refused
Retreating to the trampoline
To exercise too much and wonder why
we didn’t all have
Nine lives

Tended to by caring family members
Concerned for me and at
Eleven, my younger sister
Too young to comprehend now, she’d come
to grieve and hate the memories
Twelve years ago it soon will be
Since you took your leave
When I was young and scared and shy,
Just shy of
Thirteen, a tender and unlucky age
For teen years would be tough without you
On me, on mum, on sister too

15 (July 2003)
The number still resonates with me
And one more circles through my head
Each day it grows with all I’ve said
And done, and learnt, and loved, and lost
One thousand
and counting
that I’d have in common with you now
And cannot share
But your one, old, nonsensical joke
I tell too often,
so know I care.


5 thoughts on “Why Is A Duck?

    • Thanks Jane. The patterns helped both to keep the words coming and to put a limit to what I rambled about. The day will always stay with me but the emotions are now much more rooted in the present, and it’s everything we’ve missed out on together I notice. Eternally grateful for the years we did have and all my dad did for me though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Somehow it helps if you constrain the words, thereby creating a thing of beauty, a glowing tribute to your mum. Thinking about the devastation you must have experienced leaves a black hole in my brain.

        Your poem has left me thoughtful. Although it’s entirely different, it reminded me of a poem I posted about the night I had to rescucitate my son. I put together a long rant about how it had made me feel, and then spent days editing it out of recognition, because pained description of my emotions, and the details of what happened where, took away the atmosphere of stark terror at the thought of losing him. Only read it if you’re feeling masochistic! https://janebasilblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/how-it-felt/

        Liked by 1 person

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