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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…





© Copyright David Selzer
4 Responses
  • John Chapman
    July 22, 2016

    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!

  • Alan Horne
    July 24, 2016

    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.

  • John Huddart
    August 16, 2016

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

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