(My) mum and (your) dad

Many years ago
today
she arrived crying in the world.
Later I remember she would smile.

Some years more
but still today
and many miles away from her
his parents felt their world complete.
They smiled.

Never knowing
but through the years
they lit the candles together
laughing in a distant unison.

He did not know
and nor did she
and now she is not here
and he does not remember.

For years now
since she left
the celebrations have been singular
but heartfelt
by all.

It would be inaccurate to say

It would be inaccurate to say
I remember chalk springs
and water meadows.
Memory implies they no longer live inside me,
shaping my future,
the clarity of the water chilling my bones.
I can never forget them
or the colour of the foliage
or the too-soon long walk home.

in response to a tweet from @londonlitlab 15/07/21