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…