Oh Mother If . . .




Oh Mother If . . .

The government would like us to believe that unemployment is on the way down. The poem today is for the young mothers and families who have to live away. And while we are led to believe they are all happy to emigrate to gain work experience this is not always true, and a whole generation of young families are being denied the love and support of grandparents and friends and that is the shame of this country.


Oh Mother If . . .


Oh Mother if I did not have to live so far away

I know I would have called you up today

to tell you it was the worst of days.


That I was tired, because I was awake all night with fretting babies

and now I needed you to come to let me sleep

for just one hour or two.


And you’d have put your hat and coat on, and taken the bus

straight to my door. And I know you would have hugged me,

and I’m sure I would have cried.


Then you’d have washed and ironed the clothes

piled high on the bedroom floor,

And finished all the household chores.


And as I wakened from my nap, I’d hear your gentle tap,

and you’d have brought a cup of tea

to come and sit with me.


And we’d have laughed about something.

Something stupid, some book we’d read,

something a friend had said.


And you’d have told me how the babies were all calm and hushed,

that you had mended the broken doll, and fixed the wheel back on the truck

that had caused all the fuss.


Because mother you can do all that.

Fix and mend anything . . .

Except my broken heart.


Eithne Reynolds 2014


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