POEM: “Hypnopompia”


I had such a strong feeling today, Mother,
When we were leaving the supermarket,
Just the two of us,
About to drive off in our open-topped car.
You seemed about fifty, Mother.
Your shoulders were bronzed.

We were going somewhere, Mother.
We’d bought lots of food
I knew we’d enjoy eating it.
I don’t remember seeing it but I smelled it.
We had olives, vine tomatoes, French crusty bread.

The conviviality,
The way we felt it then
And the way we would feel it in the period to come –
They were the same: we knew they were one.
I was happy, Mother; and that’s been unusual of late,
So it was powerful.
And it was sunny, which it hasn’t been, or not much.

I was pleased to let everyone see and know, too:
This is my Mum, and I’m happy being with her.
I’m lucky I’ve got her and I know it,
And we have nice times together,
And it feels good.
I’m not normally like that either.

But Mother,
There must be parallel universes.
Is that what it is? Is it?
Be calm. You are calm.
I think that’s what it is.
I think you already know, Mother.

Because it’s two thousand and nineteen.
And you died in nineteen ninety-two.
I didn’t go to a supermarket today,
And I’ve never been in a convertible.

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