….nurture part 2

The Matriarch

I see her, larger than life

A halo of light curls and a smile for miles

I am small and she tells stories to me

And I can fall into her arms -become lost in arms 


I boast to my young followers at school 

“My Nanna knows how to make a fire from sticks”

And when I walk with her, I walk with chin held high

I am her little guardian by her side


If she were a bird she would be an owl

Round face and open eyes 

Seeing all and knowing -so much

She answers all my questions 

And shows me how to make magic with my hands

Her voice is law

As we create mischief with feet in ponds 

She booms displeasure and inside I quake 

In awesome fear and yet I am delighted 

I grow into womanhood and cry tears onto dresses

As we sit at the kitchen over steaming cups 

She shakes her curls and reminds me I am young

There is so much life ahead 


I fly from nest to nest 

Yet often I fly home to touch onto the familiar soil that is wherever –she- is

I bring her my troubles and heart aches and lay them at her feet for judgement 

Her word is law, and I am a devout citizen


It’s strange how many years go by before I notice 

That curly halo turning silver 

Fingers of time have touched your face and left their paths 

Your force now a gentler breeze

Yet still to me you are LARGE and so bright 

Your voice calming the tempest within me

My wildest rages and incessant tears turned to quiet acceptance 

Against the walls of your stolid resolve


I get the call and I am told I am needed 

I come because, how could I not?

You are so small…. The chair around you engulfing your tiny frame 

I hold you in my arms and it is I, who envelope you now 

Your halo is slicked and lifeless against your skull 

and you ask me to help restore it’s former glow

I pour warm water over your hair

Your head so small –so-small….

fragile under my fingers

The curls are flat and limp 

My ribs begin to ache 

As I realise you are a spirit inside of a body that is failing 

Your skin hanging off rattling bones 

Your smiles come slower 

And your eyes tell of visions I can’t see 

and you communicate with voices I cannot hear 

as the tv chatters  a shadow lingers in the corners 

whispering of mortality 

I lie awake and beg that your body will not fail you 

I lie awake and beg you won’t leave me

I lie awake and I pray to a god that I don’t believe in

And in moments I am reduced to a child 

Head in your lap as I sob futile tears into the lines of your hands 

I whisper that there has never been a love as constant as mine 

And that for me you will live forever 

Hands on hips and mocking smile 

Halo curls

You will never cease

You will return to your true form 

You always were an owl 

Gliding silently into the night 


Author: Shughes

the life of Shughes. Bipolar, sobriety, creativity...overspill.

2 thoughts on “….nurture part 2”

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