Iris

Today is Mother’s Day in Ireland. I no longer live in Ireland, nor is my mother still alive, but I remember her today, as I do most days.

I remember your hands busy, busy,
with Tupperware boxes in pastel shades,
or softly pushing back my fringe
for a good-night kiss on your way to a play.
The waft of Chanel from your calming arms,
my fingers lost in the fur of your coat,
the nightlight catching your bracelet’s charms,
‘That will be yours whenever I go.’

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Portrait of an uncle and bon vivant

One evening, on a sailing holiday in Turkey many years ago, our party of eight caught a ferry from our marina to nearby Fethiye for dinner.
It was nearing the end of a week’s bareboat cruise along the Turquoise Coast and we were in high spirits. As we sat around the dinner table, giggling at how silly we looked in our Fez hats, the challenges of the week (sea-sickness, blocked toilets, a lost anchor) were honed into war stories for the pub. On the return trip we started to sing.

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Morning Song

Love set you going like a fat gold watch…

So begins Sylvia Plath’s poem Morning Song, written in 1961 as a tribute to her baby daughter, Frieda. Read the whole poem here.  What a fabulous gift from mother to child? It takes me back to the joy I felt the day I brought my first baby daughter home from hospital. I could hardly believe that they let us leave with her. So tiny and pink with hands like miniature starfish waving their fronds.