At 4 am my mother calls and I emerge blinking into the light. My mother is wobbling, she needs a hand to steady her to the bathroom. Later, when I cannot return to sleep, I read an article in the newspaper about how we are losing empathy and the ability to concentrate because we are distanced from each other and always distracted by our screens. I think about this and the need for a steady hand as I watch the dawn slowly break, the sky turn from blue to yellow, the frosted leaves sparkling on the pavement outside the house.



It was such a grey morning when you left.

You never had time to see the new daffodils

Poking up through the dark earth.

You were tired and could not wait,

Dead before we reached you through the fog,

The trees black, the roads slick with rain.

Your body still warm when we arrived

Then cold and grey as the fog,

Still as the windless trees,

Gone somewhere we could not yet follow


My mother is forgetting. Things are passing her by as if they were sailing too fast down the river while she is caught in the roots of some large tree.

My mother is forgetting. To her time is an elastic band, forever stretching and falling back on itself.

My mother is forgetting. She leaves her cup of tea to grow cold and asks me again, and then once more, if I am leaving on Saturday or Sunday.

My mother has forgotten aspects of herself which show her in a poor light but perhaps she has also forgotten that once she was tall and reached the sky.

My mother has forgotten to close the door, she wants to peer out at the night and walk on the damp grass in bare feet, forget her ninety years and spin laughing like the stars.

My mother wants to peer out at the night and walk on damp grass, forget her ninety years and spin like the stars.

The home of writer Bronwen Griffiths