Unopened Drawers

photograph - Diana Leighton 2011.

when I wrote this poem it was not long after my Mother had died. I stuck it in the folder with others I wrote at that time. An opportunity to re-write it came during my creative writing course and it was painful at first but lots of new memories came back which I had forgotten at the time. I have added them to this new version of my old poem.

Unopened drawers

The drawers were like unopened oysters in my mother’s room.
In these drawers were pearls and soft silk camisoles.

No longer worn but still wearing the perfume of yesterday,

and memories of her last night, on her last holiday with my father In Italy,

My father, the complex romantic who wrote her poetry, with so much love

was no longer there, her poet had left, and she so missed him.

Now she danced on a silk thread at the end of her life,

and wearing pearls, a soft silk camisole and her favourite perfume,

she knew she would feel his caresses and warmth once again.

Later when I came to open the oyster again, the pearls had gone.

A silk thread and her perfume were all that remained,

along with an Italian sonnet written to her, by my father.

Diana Leighton 13th April 2011