If her mother were to live to be Centenarian of the Year,

your mother would be seventy six and you,

surprising angel, nearly thirty three.

(You will note, I am assuming that I shall not be

Grandpa of the Decade – false modesty, of course!)


Thinking for so long there would be none,

I am surprised how the likely continuity –

of blood, flesh and memory – reconciles me

to that dim eternity. The phone rings.

‘Hehwo, Gwanpa.’ As always, I am enchanted.


We speak of many things – butterflies,

Sleeping Beauty, riding your pink bicycle.

I imagine you holding the receiver eagerly,

half the length of England away –

beyond the shires and the towns,

the wasteland and the woods –

shunning the dark, applauding the sun…





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  1. #1 by John Chapman - July 22nd, 2016 at 18:59

    People with transplanted hearts have, seemingly, had some of the donors’ memories transplanted too. One day we will find that our acumulated memories are passed on in our genes as well as our traits and looks. Probably why our brains seem far too big for their presently known purpose. Perhaps our lifetime of learning is not just for ourselves? And perhaps I just think too much!

  2. #2 by Alan Horne - July 24th, 2016 at 15:23

    This is lovely, David. I also thought it was much stronger because the title, and the word “likely” in the second section, guard us against getting too sentimental. I bet your granddaughter will love this when she’s older.

  3. #3 by David Selzer - July 25th, 2016 at 12:37

    That’s a nice thought, Alan. Thanks.

  4. #4 by John Huddart - August 16th, 2016 at 14:06

    Cunning title, hiding its unspoken message in the incompleted line. Whilst showing that death shall have no dominion………

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