Poem ‘Mrs Wright’

Holland Cemetery: A rural cemetery in northeas...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mrs Wright

We approached her, standing stiffly
outside her cottage on the corner,
while she tended those remaining roses.

The sun was in his fall
with Michaelmas giving way to cooler winds.
She turned with some difficulty,

but still greeted us with a bespectacled smile.
She always had time, especially for me
and her roses, her world seeming slow

and certain, just like the green bus
we caught that hour on the bridge.
By the time we got back,

tired and ladened with groceries,
the sun was still out, sinking intensely
over the evergreen cemetery.

We saw no sign of the ambulance,
or the policeman’s bicycle.
Not even her son’s hastily parked car.

There was only a flutter
in the curtains across the road
as we struggled on by.

Such had been her last afternoon
upon which we had paused.
We hurried home having no idea,

doing up our light coats
in the stiffening breeze.

poem © copyright df barker 2012, first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available digitally at amazon.co.uk and amazon.com (latter for the book itself).

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29 comments

  1. Ina · April 23, 2012

    Hi David,
    there is so much to say about this wonderful poem, like how the cemetery throws it’s shadow ahead.
    I shall just say I love it. The flutter in the curtains…

    Like

  2. zeebradesigns · April 23, 2012

    How beautiful, and what a warm last memory of her tending her roses while extending her last bespectacled smile. z

    Like

  3. dfb · April 23, 2012

    Thank you Ina, that’s very kind of you!

    Like

  4. dfb · April 23, 2012

    Thank you so much!

    Like

  5. Just A Smidgen · April 23, 2012

    Even before the foreshadowing of the cemetary.. there was a foreboding in your language chosen.. excellent!

    Like

  6. dfb · April 23, 2012

    Thank you so much, you are so kind!

    Like

  7. pathwriter · April 23, 2012

    Lovely.

    Like

  8. zachbissett · April 23, 2012

    great work, the general imagery/tone is that of a a pleasant summer’s day in the country…works so well against the much grimmer subtext

    Like

  9. dfb · April 23, 2012

    Thank you so much, I appreciate your comments.

    Like

  10. Russell Smith · April 23, 2012

    Poignant remembrance.

    Like

  11. I just nominated you for three awards that i have just received…you are gifted and talented…and you deserve them it will be on my site today. beautiful blogger, very inspiring blogger and sunshine award.. congrats!

    Like

  12. dfb · April 23, 2012

    Wendell, you are so kind – I am very grateful to you!!!

    Like

  13. dfb · April 23, 2012

    Thank you so much!!!

    Like

  14. Soma Mukherjee · April 23, 2012

    Beautiful poetry …every now and then someone leaves ..and yet how life for every one else just goes on….it has to, nothing flourishes in a stagnant pool
    loved it 🙂

    Like

  15. dfb · April 23, 2012

    ‘nothing flourishes in a stagnant pool’ – hey, Soma, that’s a great line! I promise I won’t use it… 😉 Thank you so much for your kind words once again.

    Like

  16. Three Well Beings · April 23, 2012

    I have lived in my home for close to 40 years and have had experiences like this with lovely older neighbors. I still look back and remember them, and also recall the ordinary quality of sometimes seeing them walk a dog or prune roses, and then they’re gone. You beautifully captured how that ordinary passing can feel like an extraordinary observation. Beautiful and sad…the no goodbye. Debra

    Like

  17. Cynthia Ann Katon-Alfonso · April 24, 2012

    “There’s only a flutter in the curtains…her last afternoon” I can see the final drawing of the curtains here, as in the conclusion of any stage play, Excellent!

    Like

  18. Eve Redwater · April 24, 2012

    So sad… but a lovely memory of her. 🙂

    Like

  19. dfb · April 24, 2012

    Thank you very much Eve.

    Like

  20. dfb · April 24, 2012

    Cynthia, thank you very much!

    Like

  21. dfb · April 24, 2012

    Thank you very much for your comments, Debra!

    Like

  22. New View From Here · April 24, 2012

    This one grips the heart for sure. You did an amazing job with this from beginning to end. Even the title…just excellent! I really admire how familiar you made her seem, not only to the writer, but for the reader as we “remember her” through the eyes of one who admired her so.

    Like

  23. dfb · April 25, 2012

    Thank you so much, I appreciate it!!!

    Like

  24. journeyintopoetry · April 25, 2012

    This is wonderful David!

    My favourite part is the bit about the green bus – terrific.

    I want to tell you that I am learning a great deal about how to write my poetry from you. Your style speaks so vividly to me so thank you. Not that I am aiming to copy you of course! (I am quite enjoying developing my “voice”) Just getting much desired inspiration 🙂

    Christine

    Like

  25. dfb · April 25, 2012

    Thank you very much Christine! And I’m extremely flattered to think that my style is copyable!!! Thank you! 🙂

    Like

  26. Betty Hayes Albright · April 26, 2012

    Wow!! David, this is a wonderful poem – I could see it – the image of Mrs. Wright as you encounter her for what would be the last time. Poignant – those curtains fluttering in the window…!

    Like

  27. dfb · April 27, 2012

    Hi Betty and thank you so much! Yes, this is basically true, except that I changed her name.

    Like

  28. lscotthoughts · April 29, 2012

    David, this is a lovely remembrance of her and truly reminds me of several elderly couples who have passed on our street. It sounds morbid, but true. Your imagery is just so vivid~

    Like

  29. bardessdmdenton · May 3, 2012

    I’m with Ina…’the flutter in the curtains’…strange how these little things of a life linger…one moment…and then the other…

    Such a gentle reminder…until the power of the last lines…

    This is an exquisite piece!

    Like

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