Her place in life

Jonathan Mayman

Knew it was my mother’s last day.
In hospital, asleep. Peacefully,
not in any distress.

The nurses said she had some time yet.
Suddenly felt I must go up the hill,
that winding lane through the woods.

Emerged into sunlight at the top.
There it was nestling in its small valley,
the old stone farmhouse and barn.

Parked my car, walked over the fields,
slowly circling that huddle of slate roofs.
Wood smoke rose in a straight line.

A calm day, crisp and clear, everything
looking at its best. Despite new owners,
much as it always was.

She was still sleeping when I returned.
Reported back by squeezing her hand.
Sat with her to the end.