Monday, October 4, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Patrick


Nine years have passed
since that telephone call.

This afternoon we walk past
the tree we planted over your ashes.

Your mother admires
a chaffinch landing cheekily
beside us on the duck pond rail.

We stroll up to the swings
where she says if you were alive now
she wouldn’t remember you playing there

nor would I describe a chaffinch,
chestnut, confident, elegant, commanding
attention by its very presence alongside us.

In October 1987, Patrick, my 18 year-old stepson was killed in an accident in Sydney. I put this poem on the Tuesday Poem site twenty-three years later in his memory.


  1. That is beautiful. I lost a son aged 18 in 1997. I understand about the chaffinch, and the swings.

  2. "confident, elegant, commanding
    attention by its very presence"

    Thank you.