A Poem for Mother’s Day

Just back from the coast, spending Mother’s Day with the whole family. Autumn sun, conversation, food… you couldn’t ask for more. So as a gift to my mum, I thought I would repost this poem (it’s a few years old now, but still rings true).


Friday Afternoon
                         for Mum

Friday afternoon, mother waits
with a bunch of silverbeet picked
from the garden, plate of shortbread
the kettle already boiled.

When she visits, we talk for hours
steal stories from empty tea cups
until the sun fizzes behind the mountain
and bats converge on the neighbour’s mango tree.

I walk with her the five streets
back to our family home, the air
humid and dizzy with moths.
Each street corner a childhood memory:

grazed knee on Gatton
breaking streetlights on Tarrant
fist-fight on Margate
first kiss on Kentish
and the smell of mother’s cooking
as we climb the hill to Heyford.

I hug my mother, kiss her aging cheek
and make my passage home, our hearts
tied together by the reliable string
of Friday afternoon.



Filed under poetry

4 responses to “A Poem for Mother’s Day

  1. I think I’ve heard of some of those streets.This is just spot on Graham. Mum’s are the best! and childhood memories never seem to go away. The scary thing is, now I’m a mother, I’m a big part of their memories. Very strange stuff. I think I feel a poem coming on.

    • gnunn

      These streets, as my wife often says, contain my personal history. Our family has a beautiful connection and I am certain that it will always be that way.

  2. You’ve mentioned a mango tree; for that alone, the poem is now closer to home. 🙂 The list in the fourth stanza is a plus of image-goodies; and the fact that you’ve emphasized the street names ups the locale factor. Thank you for sharing this, these precious moments with your mother. I don’t know what Anzac biscuits taste like, but I am reassured, via your words, that when I encounter them, I will remember your poem and take a confident, comforting bite. Cheers.

  3. graham,

    i stumbled upon your poetry blogsite looking for korean poetry. and its worth digging until i found your great poetry, especially about this poem as a fitting tribute to your mother.

    what a vivid image of you and your mother walking along the pathways of your childhood. such an endearing one.

    all the best.

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