Some 12/13 years ago, the Textiliste and I drove to Nottingham, to Sherwood Hall where our son, Sam was to be based for the first year of his history and politics degree. He was excited, nervous maybe and me… I was a mess of conflicting emotions. On the way home, we stopped at a service station and stared at each other. Wordless. It was tough. This poem followed that silent moment. It also brought back memories of my first night at University, the terror and hope that wrapped themselves around me.
This weekend that same young man, still young in my book even if he’s slipped past thirty, will marry. It’s a long time since he took to adulting but still there’s still, as all parents will recognise that momentary pause for contemplation; will he be okay? His wife to be is delightful, there’s no question after being together for ten years that they are well suited by parents worry; its what we do so part of me still ponders as I did that warm September day those years ago
(written after I dropped off my son at University on his first day)
Today you walked away from me.
You didn’t look round to let me see
If you were smiling or close to tears;
You kept from me your hopes and fears
And let me do the babbling chat
As I spoke fondly of this and that,
Memories from a sanitized youth.
How lovely, how fine; so far from truth.
Of course. I sat on my bed that night,
Alone, home sick, nerves held tight.
Would they be friendly, would they be friends?
True companions or means to an end?
Why had I come? Why take a chance?
Was I reading too much in that glance?
You stopped and stared across the lawn,
Profile blurred, I watched forlorn
As you held a pose, firm upright,
Then turned away, and out of sight.
I blew out a long-held breath,
Closed my eyes, ground my teeth.
I held in mind that final frame,
An image that might dull my pain.
A picture of your long straight back,
Cropped blond hair, rolling gait.
You walked away, my darling Sam
This day when you became a man.