Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Promise

mum promised
we’d go and play bat and ball at the park
we were all set    two bats and a ball in a bag

and a bottle of made up orange  then jill and her mum came
and i cried     still wanted to go to the park    still wanted to play
bat and ball with mum

we all went    four of us    it felt okay    sort of

mum sat
batted words back and forth with jill’s mum
i played with jill    drank squash    it felt okay    sort of

i don’t remember playing bat and ball
with mum    ever

From Irene's Daughter, Poetry Space Ltd. 2010

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Being Irene's Daughter

My memory holds
the days
of being Irene’s daughter

the cosy winter coming home from school days
when I lit the fire while
mum cooked crispy breast of lamb
to eat with my fingers

the after the orthodontist treat days
when we came home
with half-coated
chocolate biscuits from Lewises

the brave radiotherapy sickness days
when I did the ironing
and mum, strong spirited as always
supervised my creases

the wedding preparation days
choosing my dress
and hers on a glorious
rain- drenched Saturday

and best of all

the exciting new mother days
when mum passed on
her wisdom and delighted
in cuddling each new born child

Susan Jane Sims

This is another from my pamphlet collection Irene's Daughter. Poetry Space Ltd 2010 After my mother died in 2008 I started writing about what she'd meant to me. This one focuses on childhood and memories of early adulthood, leading up to my marriage at and ensuing motherhood. My mother loved having babies around.

Lewises refers to a department store in Bristol's Broadmead  that existed during the sixties and seventies. They had a lovely food hall. They also had a store in Manchester I believe. There was no connection with John Lewis. For anyone with a historic interest in these things the site was subsequently occupied by John Lewis, then Bentalls then I think House of Fraser, and now Primark.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


I have just made an egg sandwich with soft white bread,
sliced the egg with the orange plastic egg slicer
I found in Mum’s drawer. And I’m back there,
the seventh of the seventh, seventy seven.
That’s a palindrome the doctor said
when he called that morning to check on Mum
post cancer treatment. Later when the nausea settled
I had made her a sandwich much like this one,
the egg slightly warm. Noticed that the Christmas cacti
was blooming out of season.

Susan Jane Sims

Published in Soul Feathers, an anthology published by Indigo Dreams Publishing to support the work of Macmillan Cancer Care.