A letter to Tom and Mary

DVerse and Mary have invited us to write an Epistolary piece –http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22718
For The Poet’s Pub – http://dversepoets.com/2013/08/17/poetics-sent-with-a-stamp/
Apologies for the length.

Grandparents 1952030

Dear Mary and Tom,

May I pen a letter asking who you were? I know you are my grandparents,but that is sadly all

Grandpa we never met, I have no stories of your life - this I only blame myself
for the questions were never asked - how sad that I did not

So please I ask forgiveness, as I never knew you as a lad
nor the trials you faced in life, witnessing the wars

I know not how you met 'your Mary', or how you sang or even laughed
how regrettable, that all I know of you - are your old photographs

Grandma..
we did meet, but was for the shortest while, a child of eighteen I came to England to see you the first time. You took ill, a stroke struck you and I tended to your body,such an english rose with you hair of silver curls, porcelain skin, rosy cheeks, in floral dress and string of pearls

And I was young and so naive and went 'round countryside and fell in love ..or so I thought, when your death I read by telegraph and I the one too self absorbed - even to attend, this regret, in life I have and I carry it to my grave for I thought of only me, so I ask for absolution - for not honouring you in death

I shall make amends, though I know not where you lay, to pay respect, to show
my love – Australia’s so far away

I cannot lay a flower nor stand with my head bowed.I cannot say "I'm sorry" though I yell it now out loud. Your life, like Tom's I never knew, only now that I have aged - I wish I could have known you more, with remorse, I turn the page

Non-Fiction – to my Grandparents – I keep still, in silence, in memory of you.

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39 thoughts on “A letter to Tom and Mary

  1. Lovely RM. might I suggest that at the end of stanza one the ‘have’ might be better served by ‘did’?
    My grandparents were old by the time I came along. Not a lot of memories for me either.

  2. That is tenderly written. I can understand your feelings. My grandmother resides in another city and I haven’t seen her for quite a long while. Otherwise, I never get to meet my grandfather and both of my grandparents on my mother’s side. They had all departed before I was born.
    That is beautifully written. You have engraved your feelings within this creation.

    • HA- your words mean so much to me, thank you so very much. It is a pity she lives far away as we need to have them in our lives as much as we can before we lose them forever. Thank you – really.

  3. Oh, I hear you on this. I only knew one of my grandparents…a grandmother who died when I was 6, so I really never knew her either. I do wish now that I had asked my parents and aunts and uncles more questions about the older generation, but they are all deceased now as well. If only the younger generation would take heed of your poem and get know the elders when they are alive and write down their stories while they can. And perhaps we need to write down OUR stories for those of the next generation so they do not have the same regrets?

    • Mary I am glad that this resonated with you. Sadly the younger ones do not and I think it would be a marvellous idea to write down our stories. Memories fade, people pass on, we need to keep their spirits and lives alive for all the generations to come. Thank you so much for the read and your comments.

  4. i think they would love to read this… when we’re young we do things that we regret later sometimes…but i’m sure she was wise enough to know this already…and cool that you at least spent a bit of time with her before she died..

  5. evocative…my grands passed away by the time i was 10…all but one…i know them through vague impressions….and that they all tie into who i am….my grandfathers were a fireman and a seed man….both of which are part of me….my grandmother was one of the first postmasters that was female…again a strong tie to me…smiles…not that i am female…ha…but i wish too i had more time with them….

  6. Very nice share, authentic & heart felt ~ I wished I knew my grandparents now that I am older ~ Their stories & lives so different from ours ~ Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from them ~

  7. This is beautiful, Jen. All of my grandparents had passed away by the time I was born – I understand your yearning to know them. Don’t be too hard on yourself for being 18; we all made poor teenage choices.

  8. I think this writing serves as a better tribute than any flower on a grave.. We all know that we know too little about our ancestors.. I knew a little about my grandparents, but they left the world before I grew up… what can one regret except being young at the time…. ? very well constructed and touching poem…

  9. beautiful and from the heart, and know that you can be the one to tell your story to your children and grandchildren, so that you may leave your legacy without any regret )

    • Beth you are so right and I shall – the way my girls are at the moment (not speaking in 5 months) Perhaps I shall remind them of this and how it feels later in life when you let ‘things slide away’ – thank you- really. xx

      • i understand, i have 3 girls, and from time to time they’ve had their major differences, but as we get older our relationships become so much more precious, and sadly, sometimes only then, do we realize it )

      • Beth I know – it is so difficult for a parent to sit by and watch. We have a wedding coming up and Fathers Day – family functions. The eldest said she made the bed she can lie in it. I had lunch with the eldest as she got back from O/S on Saturday and I mentioned two things about her sister..I was shut down and the lunch ended- ‘she didn’t want to know’…. 😦 x

      • you’re right, it’s extremely hard, and when it’s happening, it always feels like something just isn’t right, no matter what you are doing – that undefined feeling of unease. i’m sorry, because i know how difficult it is to go through, try to hold on to the fact that you can’t really control anyone else, only control you have is your reaction to them. there have been times when i wondered if my daughters would ever reconcile, but after some time, and space – it happened. as much as i love to have everyone together for everything, and it made me sad if all were not there, i decided to just invite them all, and let it be. it has worked itself out – peace, beth

  10. You’ve done your grandparents proud. (They do look a jolly and happy couple!) If only we asked the questions when we had the time, but it’s not until many of us get older that we’re interested in the answers.

      • Good luck. Are there any aunts or uncles in the UK you could contact too? Have you thought of recording your mum? You get a record of her thoughts and voice, and it might act a prompt to her as you go through the process.

      • I recorded and filmed dad speaking about his life whilst mum sat with him. I asked her some questions about her childhood and she struggled to remember much, so as far as her parents are concerned, I hold no hope 😦 No, mum had a sister, but she passed, no one else left (it was only a small family).xx

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