Blair Atholl


I saw a ghost today
Of happy times
Days full of life.
In a small overgrown field,
The same stream rushes down below,
The little hut remains in the corner.
The narrow road still winds
behind the old, stone wall.
The scents of grass
and freshness linger.

And almost audible
I hear the whispers of memories.
Almost visible
I see the tents and the people,
The two French boys,
The middle-aged couple in their
pullovers and estate car,
Janet in shorts and pony-tail
Laughing excitedly,
Father methodically adjusting the pegs
Without a shirt, despite the cold
And me, solemnly kicking a football
Weighed down by the traumas
of adolescence.

And her – my mother,
In black, sleeveless blouse
And blue cut-off trousers.
Her long, straggly hair
Cigarette nonchalantly balanced in hand.
Her vitality and strength
defying the empty world,
Despite the wear of years and family

She is still there,
In the freshness of the air,
In the resilience of the stream.
She is there,
More than anyone,
More than anywhere.

© DEB- Summer 1989

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