Mummy

She tells me she’s pregnant

Her mother is dead

I wish she could be here

The little girl said

And suddenly flood gates

Explode in my head

Me giving birth

On a hospital bed

Me with my daughter

And my mother dead

Oh look at her, Mummy

She’s lovely

I said

*

© Gail Foster 7th September 2017

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Rosemary’s Funeral

Mother’s Day is an emotional time, especially for folk who no longer have their Mums around. My mother is long gone, bless her. She died at this time of year, in 1990. I wrote this last year for Mother’s Day, and the coming of Spring. It’s actually a celebration of her so no need for tears.

*

My mother’s coffin on the bier, up the cobbled steps to St. Mary’s church. My babe folded warm to my breast. Green turf on the hill and the early cry of lambs upon the Plain. Warm breath, warm wind, the knell of an ancient bell, solemn steps up to the sacred temple, dedicated to His mother, The Mother, all mothers, my mother.

For Spring is a dying in itself. My child stirs. She waited for him before her passing. I pressed him to her breast as she lay dying, her window open, bright gifted daffodils a-stirring on the sill. I took a photograph and have it still. My mother, blessed in her helplessness, still fierce in her humility, with a twinkle in her eye, a warm smile and her only grandchild in her arms.

Funeral over and back in the light my son and I await new life.

*

by Gail

David Osborne’s Funeral; Scrubbing Up Well

We have said farewell to David

How we wish he had been there

To see how much we loved the s*d

And how we did our hair

He would have loved the eulogy

In which he got a mention

For David always loved to be

The centre of attention

He would have liked the humour

Had a hanky for the tears

Been astounded at the love he had

To show for all his years

He would have wept to see us weeping

Would have made a funny joke

Not one much for nonsense

A ‘geezer’ sort of bloke

A man who worked with chemistry

Who painted and played chess

Who liked music and black humour

And admired a pretty dress

Two different lives, three families

So many made the trip

From different worlds, from far away

His blood, his fellowship

He would have loved the readings

Would have looked well to this day

And nodded at Corinthians

In a wise and knowing way

He would have said “Look after Margaret”

And run after Michelle

Then winked at Dick and hugged his son

And others he knew well

I thought I saw him in the corner

Saw him sitting in a chair

Serenity personified

For just a moment there

*

He really loved ‘Jerusalem’

We sang that b*gger loud

My God, we scrubbed up bl**dy well

And did the b*gger proud

*

by Gail

What’s the crack with rugby?

Rugby

for Ian Diddams, and my Dad

*

So what’s the crack with rugby?

My father used to play

He’d come home with an injury

Every other day

My mother used to worry

He was quite deaf to her fears

Her futile protestations fell

On cauliflower ears

Oh so many broken bones

As trophies he would wear

Those would be the only times

I heard my mother swear

My father didn’t drink much

He didn’t do the pub

But he’d sink some with the other lads

In the rugby club

He had a book of rugby songs

Some of them were crude

Dinah, Dinah, show us yer leg

And other ones more rude

A weird way to learn about

Sex and funny stuff

Sex ed in the seventies

Was really pretty rough

Now I watch a rugby game

And find the blokes quite hot

Got to love a massive thigh

And firmly muscled bott

Oh how they thunder up the pitch

And grunt and sweat and shout

Got to love testosterone

It’s what it’s all about

Never mind the odd shaped ball

Shape doesn’t make me frown

It’s how they chuck the thing that counts

And how they smack it down

The scrum’s a thing to marvel at

A tad homo erotic

What if someone breaks their neck

Not sport for the neurotic

And then there is the line dancing

And shouting things in code

Like massive noisy warriors

With faces streaked with woad

Not partial to the gumshields

I suppose they save the grief

Of ruining a toothpaste smile

And choking on the teeth

The thing I don’t quite understand

Is how they pass the ball

What’s the crack with backwards?

I don’t get that at all

I’m a girl who loves a tryer

It’s hardly a perversion

It just don’t get more exciting

Than a finely placed conversion

Snorting mist like horses

Hot blokes running free

Imagine the baths afterwards

Oh it’s all too much for me

I have memories of autumn

Fields all churned up with mud

My Dad and Son played rugby

There’s some rugby in my blood

So, here’s my final word on this

Rugby’s hot, but makes me sad

For when I think of rugby

It reminds me of my Dad

*

Love you, Dad

*

 by Gail