Forgot to print the poem. This is why a hiatus is needed. -ed.
A TRIP TO THE MOON
My mother is moving house. She’s ninety-one
and determined: words like sheltered
accommodation are coming at us from outer space
but it’s not like that, at least not yet. There are spare
rooms in the new home, she’ll have a small garden,
feed nuthatches, do her own cooking, grow shrubs.
Still, down the slope will be a sanatorium.
That’s the point. A clinic, an Alzheimer’s wing.
She doesn’t want to be a burden. In every room
is a vermilion string to pull if you fall over.
When I clear out her cupboards we find histories
woven in every blanket, like this scorch mark
made the winter the heating failed.
Should she sell the oversize kitchen clock
(which she still gets up on a ladder to wind
every Sunday, as my dad used to do)
to the blind piano tuner who took a shine
to it when he came to value the piano?
Or should it stay around in case one day
some grandchild might give it a home?
For the first time in her life she’ll live only
with things she has chosen. No husband or children
to consider, no furniture from aunts. She can sell,
she can give things away. Traumas of today,
contracts to exchange, dates of completion,
arguments over who’ll let the carpenter in
to the new place to measure up, will be forgotten
because forgetting is an issue let’s face it.
And she is, she is facing it. She’ll be three miles
from family but she’s going to an unknown zone.