An electrical flash,

Neurotransmitters fire,

Synapses gather and

Feathery Dendrites reach out

bringing memories fluttering into life.

Some clear, others are fragmented with time.

I prefer the simile

of yellowed pages in a book,

every page marked with a dried flower.

Picking up this crumbling, treasured memory

with gloved hands, I hold it close

for its colour has faded and

the scent has almost gone.

On a day long ago a country lane winds and dips,

then shimmers into view.

Sitting high above the world on my father’s shoulders

I gaze over unkempt hedges at the Irish Sea.

To me it stretches forever.

Seagulls sail on the wind above the cliff,

dodging and swooping, diving and squawking.

My sister runs ahead clutching

our bag of sandwiches to her chest

and calls out,

‘Look Daddy, look at the gulls.’

One hovers for a moment, head cocked

and I see its avaricious eye.

I know gulls eat jam and bread.

Colours, the sun shines on my mother’s auburn hair;

it reminds me of new pennies. She’s smiling.

The silver of his hair, he’s happy, laughing

as he talks of when he ran here as a boy.

Emerald grass covers rolling pastures,

flecked with white sheep.

The dark grey sea whispers its mysteries to me.

And the watery blue sky hints at summer coming

to a close.

Smells, hair dressing, clean sweat, flowers

in the fields. The crisp tang of salt air, all add to

the memory. This is no will ‘o the wisp remembrance,

this is golden. A snapshot of the perfect family and

like an advert on television, it’s an illusion.

I’ll accept the misconception.

I have to keep it alive.

If I don’t I’ll forget my sister at her happiest.

I can still see her running through those fields, singing

with delight, her long curls bouncing as she twirls and dances.

Falling to the ground she grasps a handful

of Buttercups and races back to hand them out.

We take them and smile, he puts me down and we sit

on the grass overlooking the sea and sand far below.

The sandwiches are soon gone,

washed down with a bottle of warm tap water.

There are only crumbs for the gulls to fight over.

I look at my father.

He’ll be leaving soon, the sea calls him.

I’ll miss him and I won’t.

My sister and I sit and make chains out of the flowers,

she wears a crown of them in her hair.

I watch him stare at her and know that look.

She was beautiful and I? I was jealous.

After all don’t fathers have their favourites?

I wipe away the tears and place the faded Buttercup

back in between the pages. It’s been there for so long

that it’s left a faint impression on the page.

Will it remain forever?

So that when I’m old and the pages become harder

to turn, I can bring up its image and dream again of hungry gulls

and a smiling happy girl.

Laurie Smith© 2013



9 thoughts on “MIDWEEK POETRY, Memories.

  1. patgarcia

    Hi Bro,

    There were moments of happiness, although behind them lurked emotions that you could not quite understand as a little boy.

    This poem is a tribute to your sister’s happier years, years where she innocently ran along, knowing within her heart that the world is beautiful; and it was. It is the dark imaginations that some let in their lives; that destroyed her and caused her so much emotional pain.

    This is a beautiful tribute, indeed, to a sister you’ll always love.


    P.S. Bro, I am trying again and hope it lets me post. Ciao.


    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      Hi Sis, you did it this time, you’re on. I imagine there had to be periods of happiness otherwise life would have been too much to bare. These snapshots of life are the ones I turn to for hope and inspiration when I feel the weight of life on my shoulders. I cried all the way through writing it and I well up writing this now. Listening to Foster and Allen singing The Old House doesn’t help. She’ll always be alive in my heart and memories and when I remember her she’s wearing a crown of Buttercups.


    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      So true, you know when you look back through the wheat and chaff of your life? Well this is one of those grains that turn out to be gold and you treasure it.



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