Poetry Shelf: a mother poem from Louise Wrightson






Mother, the dark is coming


from beyond the sea.


It is moving above the waves,


over the driftwood


on the sand, winding through


the mist-covered land.



I will stay with you.


I will hold your hand.



Mother, when I was young


and afraid of the night,


you bought me a light


and sat by my bed.


You said that the dark


could be my friend.



I will stay near you.


Stay here until the end.




Mother, I remember how


we waited on the lawn


that night until the dark


dissolved into colours


and the scary shapes


were familiar and clear.



I will stay beside you.


There is nothing to fear.



Mother, the dark is here.


It is only a shadow


that covers your body


and you are the light


within its shape—the flame.


You burn so brightly!



Now, I hold your hand.


Now, I call your name.





                                                            Louise Wrightson—October 2019


Louise Wrightson has an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from the IIML (The International Institute of Modern Letters) Victoria University, Wellington. She lives and writes near Otari-Wilton’s Bush, a 100-hectare reserve of regenerating forest. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals.



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