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 1987 my eighteen-year old stepson Patrick was killed in an accident in Sydney. The hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life was to tell his mother her son was dead. Certain lights went out that have never come on again. Nine years later I wrote this poem. Anyone who knows the Wellington Botanic Gardens will recognise the location.
The Tuesday poem website is http://www.tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com