I did not cry

I did not cry on the day my mum died.

Gentle Uncle Bill said “I’m sorry son, she’s gone”.

He backed out of the room with tearful eyes on me,

Disappearing, silently, behind the slowly closing door.

Turning the handle, he held in the anticipated snap of lock.

 

Sitting on the edge of the bed, my empty head fell into trembling hands.

Downstairs the darkened melodies of despair rose and fell,

Looking to a brilliant sun, framed by fussy cream lace,

I quietly and without intent said “mum”.

I closed my eyes to see her.

 

Waking minutes later my whole body is shaking,

But empty of concern, no worry or care left.

Alone I stand and acknowledge it is thus,

This serves me well, I feel duty bound

To protect the child within.

 

Standing at the graveside,

Contemptible of God and his servant:

“Is there anything I can do?” vicar asks,

Mum would not have wanted a fuss, so I blink.

No sermon, or hymn but now anger sears my tears.

 

Time slipped by and autumn fell,

Still no moment to pause or dwell.

Frosted breath as I took bottle from the step,

I stood affixed as glass and milk smashed,

And my heart did finally crash.

 

Dean Reeves

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