I wrote this for my mum on her 80th birthday so it belongs to her. That said I’m sure she won’t mind.

My mum wrote a book about her childhood so that her grand children would realise how different life was when she was young. I found the whole process of editing the book and looking at her pictures incredibly moving and this poem just flowed out.

Copyright Sue Nicholls – no copies please

I am here,

Crossing the time-cusp between my precious daughters and you, my mother,

One day I shall be you,

Once I was them,

Once YOU were them and you were me.

You have filled our lives with your personality,

Your sureness, your sociability and your sun-warmth,

I should not be me, but for you,

I pass you on to my children and they will pass you to theirs.

Your pictures! The limp baby held on the kiss crossed legs of a fuzzy haired sister,

A flossy headed, shy little squirt with back buckled knees,

A skinny, shining girl clutching a silken spaniel and squinting into the sun,

How is that you?

Is that grubby, glowing child still there?

And what of me, when I am sitting there, where you now sit?

Will I have the courage to carry myself proudly, disregarding my discomfort?

Washing it away with whisky, cream and butter,

And planning, always planning for the future.

I aim to follow your example to the letter,

One day, my children will be proud of me as I am of you,

And when they ask me how I came to be thus, I will explain,

Your grandmother, Gemma, taught me.


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