I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

12 September 2009

A Soft Way

30 Poems in 30 Days: Day 9
Use the word "secret" twice.

She has a soft way of talking.
You have to lean in,
heads close as if sharing a secret –
an appearance of intimacy
as false as it’s immediate.

In these almost-whispers
you receive the material moments
of her life. My toes hurt today.
I think I’m catching a cold.
Mrs Brown went out this morning.

The secret is to pat her hand,
to nod and murmur while tucking
the blankets closer around her,
or combing her fragile hair.

Perhaps she imagines you are her mother,
or her daughter who so seldom comes.


  1. This is lump-in-the-throat lovely, Rosemary. And I love how both of your 'secret's are so different that you wouldn't notice there were two of them if you weren't looking.

  2. Oh, thank you Jen!

    The piece is fictional - but of course based on many factual cases we hear of often enough. I'm thrilled it moved you.