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One Day in July - poem for my mother

Updated on May 10, 2014

Reflections from a distance

As mother's day approaches once more I remember my mother. I question my decision to leave her for a life far away. The tyranny of distance that changes lives forever.

The second poem - Reflection is a companion poem to One Day in July


One Day in July

She was adamant

She’d never visit Australia.

Heat and dust,

Kangaroos and boomerangs,

Most uncivilised.

England was our heritage see,

What was good enough for her

Should be good enough for me.


Then it happened

That day in July

She arrived unexpectedly

Unusually unflustered.

Her face reflected in mine.

She’d flown on her own.

Conquered some unfathomable barrier

Popped in on her way out.

What an effort, I thought,

What a hell of an entrance.

Then, a good entrance was her forte.

It gives a person style.



I recall thinking how well she looked,

Same old Ivory powder and Miner’s Red lippie

(She wouldn’t be seen dead without her make-up.)

I wanted to put the kettle on

And make the compulsory cuppa.

Have a gossip

A juicy, do you remember session.

And then, of course, the grand tour.

But in a whiff - she was gone.


I picked up the phone then

Fumbling fingers dialled international,

‘Hello,’ they said.

‘It’s me,’ I said,

‘We were just going to ring.’ they said,

‘Your Mum died two hours ago,’

‘Yes,’ I said.

‘Yes.

I know.’



Reflection

Did I ever thank you

For coming to see me

That day in July?

Such a short eerie visit

Seeing your face

Reflected in mine.


I took it as confirmation

You’d forgiven me

For being the severed branch.

Off the family tree.

Though I guess you’d still say,

Things would be different.

If it hadn’t been for me.


Is it too late for confessions?

I lied a lot

Big whoppers.

I was no pioneer.

My life was mapped with shadows.

A parallel of yours

I dreamt of being the prodigal daughter.

Returning home (in triumph)


Straddled across the world.

Living my tug-of-war life

With no excuse and a tad of evasion

I missed your ending.


And you asked for me,

Or so I’m told.


I think of you so often these days,

It must be an age thing.

Remember how I nagged you

For living in the past?

You’d just laugh and say

‘Your turn will come.’

And it has.


If I didn’t thank you for coming

That day in July

Thank you Mum.

It was so good to see you.


copyright (c) medwards 2012







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    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Maj. How lovely of your Mum coming to say goodbye. I can associate with living in the past..and yes, it is an age thing. Keep well maj..Anne x

    • arb profile image

      arb 4 years ago from oregon

      Enjoyed this a lot. The poetry is good, the imagery superb and tale, sublime.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Thanks Annie - I always reckon past and present fuse together - somehow! Cheers and best..

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      arb - thank you so much - for reading and positive comments - I really appreciate - best regards

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Unusual and marvelous poem. I don't know you or your mum and yet my eyes are full of tears. This is a very well-crafted tone-poem. Just enough emotion emerges through the story,but not too much emotion. Sharing of course.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Wonderful poetry! My wife had a similar experience in a dream when her father died. I will share this with her. I discovered your writng through two of my favorites, arb & phadast.

      Welcome to HP!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

      What a beautyful poem. I loved this and will read it again and again, thank you for sharing this wonder. Jamie

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Hi Jamie - thank you for such positive comments - I'm so pleased you enjoyed it - best wishes

    • travmaj profile image
      Author

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      phdast7 - thank you for thoughts - I really appreciate your feed back -

      I think my mum would be astonished to be on HP. But proud! Best wishes -

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      phdast7 - thank you for thoughts - I really appreciate your feed back -

      I think my mum would be astonished to be on HP. But proud! Best wishes -

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      xstatic - thank you very much - interesting to hear of your wife having a similar experience. It's an extraordinary moment - but so real. My best wishes to both.

    • profile image

      Janhorner 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful experience you have shared in poem format.

      My own mum died one day in July 8 years ago; just two day's after my birthday, which I felt she'd hung on in for.

      It's strange how these things happen. Had to admit it brought tears to my eyes.

      Jan

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Thank you so much Jan for your lovely words and for sharing this moment - very much appreciated. Look forward to reading more of your hubs - best wishes...

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Wow! How blessed you are to have a visit from your mum. I was captivated by your beautiful poem and actually felt like I was intruding on your private conversation. Awesome!!!

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Sunshine - Yes, blessed for sure. Although, I gather it's not an uncommon experience. Thank you for such positive comments - I truly appreciate...

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I hope it's not uncommon. I've lost quite a few family members that I'd love to see if only for a fleeting moment. Thank you again for sharing and giving us some hope :)

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Such mystery. In this fast paced world, sometimes I think we ignore intuition or strong feelings. I'm certain I could be more observant - but I'm pleased I documented this moment. Thank you so much

    • profile image

      GinnyE 4 years ago

      It is beautiful. Tears well.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      GinnyE - thank you for your comment and your lovely emotional response - really appreciate it.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Just had to read this again. Just as powerful and moving the second time as the first. Such a direct and strong, yet poignant poem. Sharing.

    • anuws profile image

      anuws 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

      So touching.. I am so happy I got to read this poem :) Thank you for sharing..

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      the poem speaks of a beauty that only the heart could understand.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      phdast - thank you so much for your appreciation of my poem and the sharing - I feel honoured indeed by the compliment.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      anuws - thank you so much for dropping by and reading and enjoying this. Most appreciated.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      unknown spy - thank you for such a wonderful compliment - most appreciated.

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 4 years ago from Oregon

      This is beautiful, sad and touching poem travmaj, makes me want to treasure my mother more, thank you for that inspiration!

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Margarita, thank you so much for these truly beautiful words. I'm pleased you liked my poem and I send best wishes to your mother too. Thank you so much.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Maj - I was so attracted to this poem when I came to your hub site to reacquaint myself with you a bit. What an amazing mother-daughter story it tells, so simply.

      At present I happen to be once more enthralled in watching 'Downton Abbey' and somehow Maggie Smith's character on it as the Dowager Countess Grantham seems a little like your Mum: so traditionally English, yet bold when practicality demands it. The visit to Australia for your Mum comes through as being quite bold for her.

      Your self-portrait in it is surely through her eyes! In every way, this is a magnificent poem and tribute to your Mum. Thank you for sharing!

    • KrisL profile image

      KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

      A poem that speaks some truths of life.

      Thanks for this.

    • travmaj profile image
      Author

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Nellieanna - Thank you for stopping by and such splendid comments. My mother would be thrilled to be compared to Maggie Smith's character. Spot on. She could arch an eyebrow and you'd know.

      Distance is such a tyranny but you don't realise it when you are young. I think about it quite often now. How it must have hurt when I left.

      We've just finished the 3rd series of Downton here - a dramatic ending. No spoiling though. One of my favourite shows.

      Thank you again Nellianna - really appreciate your visit.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Travmaj, this was special, it made me smile through the tears.

      I would love you to take a look at my very first poem, 'Jasmine in bloom' you will understand why I shed a little tear as I read your beautiful poems. It is always about the love; that, never dies.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      KrisL - I'm touched by your comment - thank you

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Maj - It surely must have hurt when you left, but mothers have an uncanny ability to 'see through' and forgive us. My first marriage took me far away from home, not pleasantly, but I couldn't complain or wallow in it, and my parents tried to understand, even without getting reports other than small talk. They were there for me when I needed them after 18 years of being away.

      I have the DVDs of the first 3 Downton seasons. - Yes, that cliffhanger at the end of season 3 guarantees I'll be eager to acquire Season 4! In fact, I've been re-watching it all, since there's nothing on TV I really want to see. Prior to that, I got into watching some DVDs about the Renaissance which hooked my fancy for more, so watched an old Tape of "A Man For All Seasons", then watched "Elizabeth I" again; then rewatched my DVDs of Jane Austen's stories, followed by "A Room With A View". So you can see where my interest has lain of late, with "Downton Abbey" fitting in nicely, what with the entail still thriving, as in Jane Austen. A bonus is that there is plenty of it to watch! I never really tire of it. Seems that each time I watch it, I notice more details. When I read, I like to go back over it and double-check on details I may have missed at first, too.

    • travmaj profile image
      Author

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Nellieanna - just lovely to hear from you - and thank you for such warm and thoughtful comments. I do believe time has made me reflect on the past - the good and the no so good. Plus the realisation that I can't g back and change anything - oh dear - it must be an age thing.

      I do applaud your choice of DVDs, all of them. That ending of Downton (series 3) just floored me - I kept grumbling 'how could they do that to me?' I took it quite personally.Yes, bring on season four.

      I love Room with a View and Elizabeth - on and on I could go. Just glad you are enjoying such quality work and finding more details.

      Thank you once again Nellieanna- appreciate your time and your comments - hope all is well in your corner of the world. Best wishes.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      (smiling) I'd prefer to think it a 'wisdom thing' rather than an 'age thing'. hehe.

      Best wishes to you, as well, dear lady!

    • travmaj profile image
      Author

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Nellieanna - (smiling back) you are so right - must lift my game!

      All best wishes coming your way!

    • travmaj profile image
      Author

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      KJ - As far as predictions go - this one really did happen. It hardly counts as a seer! I do not have any more intriguing stories....Cheers,

    • profile image

      Kay Readdy 3 years ago

      I loved your poems to your mother - s0 heartfelt - they made me cry!

    • travmaj profile image
      Author

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Hi Kay - thank you so much for your lovely comments - it's been a while since I read it and it makes me sad too. Best wishes...

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      travmaj, when I read your comments on my tribute to my father, I was curious to know about you. All that curiosity was satiated when I read this wonderful and soul-stirring tribute to your mother. You have such tremendous love and admiration for your very adorable mother. Her words " Your turn will come " are so deep and shows her vast assimilation of life. This poem moistened my eyes. A wonderful read ! A beautiful poem. Voted up.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Harishprasad Thank you for such wonderful comments and vote. Yes, I remember my mother with much love and affection. And some sadness that in later years our lives were separated by distance. Here in Australia it is mother's day this Sunday and of course she will be in my thoughts. Thank you again.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Back again for another read and your words are still very powerful :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thanks to Sunshine625, I found my way to your magnificent poetry. You write with such clarity and love, it just spills itself in every line. What a wonderful mother - tears are forming in my eyes.

      Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      These were both amazingly touching poems travmaj. A wonderful tribute this Mother's Day. Voted up.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Trav What wonderful poems as tributes to your mother. We all have regrets, but our mothers forgave us. I didn't call mine enough, and was always late with birthday cards. It was always my stressful job that took too much time and energy. Why do we place importance on the trivial things in life? Thank y9u for sharing this hub that helps us with the past and our mothers. Maybe they hear us in Heaven. Pinning this outstanding hub. Blessings, Audrey

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Sunshine. appreciate your re reading and lovely comments. Thank you again

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      vocalcoach - I certainly thank you for such positive comments - I don't write much poetry (only humorous pieces) I concentrate on travel. This piece wasn't difficult, the longing the past, the tyranny of distance. A catharsis in a way. Thank you again.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Jodah - thanks for your warm comments and the vote, really appreciate you stopping by.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      brakel Thank you for stopping by and you are spot on with the comments. Yes, we do place importance on trivial things until one day we turn around and realise. In my case distance was an issue also. I think you're on the right track, they hear us alright, probably smiling at our comments. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      AshimaTan 2 years ago

      That was touching... Voted up!

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Thank you AshimaTan - much appreciated.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 2 years ago from USA

      Ms Edwards (travmaj on HubPages) -

      I am a real sucker for good poems. You got me with "One Day in July."

      Gus :-)))

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Beautiful poem and am sure your mother must be looking from above and blessing you.

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Hey Gus - thank you so much, appreciate your words. Cheers Maj (Edwards)

    • travmaj profile image
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      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Hello again Vellur - thank you, appreciate your sentiments here. I hope you're right. Best regards...

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