Where are you now my child?
Do you continue in some far off place?
Are you out of reach, but still seeing?
Do you sense my grief?
If I were happy,
Would you know?
I search my mind,
My heart, my soul,
For some small part of you.
But nothing.
For when you died,
I ceased to exist.

Granny’s House

Granny’s House

by Anne E Thompson

The child lies,
Hot under heavy eiderdown,
With frozen face protruding,
And listens:

Chink of china tea-pot, mew of cat,
Stamp of heavy boots, on kitchen mat.
Mumbling quiet voices, feed the dog,
Poker stirs the fire, then adds a log.

Working men arrive to shop next door,
Metal bucket dragged, across stone floor.
Clanking toilet chain from outside loo,
House martins fussing, as new chicks flew.

Kettle whistle dies, then clink of latch,
Bang of larder door, harsh strike of match.
Footstep creaking upstairs, breeze stirs net,
Rap on bedroom door, “Are you up yet?”

The Birthday Gift

The Birthday Gift

by Anne E Thompson

The days before your birthday,

Were spent meandering the towns of Italy.

Narrow cobbled streets giving shade,

From the dry heat of morning sun.

Watched by hawk-like black eyes,

That willed me to buy their crafts,

I wandered past carefully stacked offerings

Enticing me to buy for you.

Shiny leather slippers waited by the door,

Beckoning me to feel their supple smoothness.

The spicy smell of leather wallets,

Heaped in mounds on trays, and belts

Hung like skinned snakes, buckles glinting.

A sailing shop, with each nook

Stuffed with polished wood barometers,

Metallic bells with tan handles,

Nautical ornaments to clutter your study,

Telescopes that would never see.

I could imagine your smile of anticipation,

As your large hands carefully unfolded

Bright wrapping paper, your smile of delight.

The “Thank you Annie”, as you lean forwards,

For a kiss that smells of mints

And aftershave.

But I left Italy without a gift,

Bearing instead another empty space within.

For the last gift I was ever to buy you,

Were the flowers,

For your grave.


By Anne E Thompson
I held you,
Your weight light on my hip
As I touched your button nose
With mine,
Peered deep into
Shining eyes,
Because you are my world.

We held hands
As we walked to the station.
And you skipped beside me
While my heart
Became still,
Because you were my world.

I sold you
To the man whose words
Promised me,
That you would be schooled
And be fed
And have chances in life,
Beyond my reach.
And I walked away,
With breaking heart
And one hundred pounds
And the prayer you would be safe.
Because you were my world.

Help to stop child trafficking. See http://www.tearfund.org for more details.

See also: https://anneethompson.com/poems/poems-about-life-and-death/fear/


By Anne E Thompson

You stand as the beautiful girl I loved,
But I know,
Inside you are deformed by grief.
A hunched old woman,
Clutching emotions tightly,
Lest another should shatter,
Into artery slicing shards.
Pools of laughter have bled from your eyes,
They harbour the shadows of ghosts.
The dead are in everything you see.
Your words, sane, pleasant, kind,
Carefully constructed in your mind,
Never touching your heart.
The core of you is gone.
I live beside the puppet you.
And wonder if you,
The real you,
Can grow again.


by Anne E Thompson

She tidied up,
Resigned her job,
She tidied up,
Paid all bills.
She tidied up,
Found a cleaner.
She tidied up,
Trained the dog.
She tidied up,
Left recipes.
She tidied up,
Found appliance manuals.
She tidied up,
Threw out memories.
She tidied up,
Took the gun
And removed her brain.

The Mother

The Mother

I ease the chalk white torpedo through the foil,
Releasing it from the clinical plastic capsule.
Held lightly, so lightly, in my hand,
As I imagine what might be.
How I would welcome oblivion.
Then I think of you;

How your face shines at the simple delight
Of a favourite food,
How you chatter endlessly about your day,
Carelessly scattering love.
You need routine and security,
You deserve to feel safe.

Then I consider what might be.
Your bewilderment and distress
Your life-long wondering “Why?”
The fear it was your fault.

So I will continue to wade
Through the murky darkness
Of black treacle depression.
And I will fail,
I will be the mother who is lost,
Or late,
Or who forgets to return forms.
Who shouts when she is tired,
And sometimes cries.

But at the end of time,
When you stand before me
And confess I failed as a mum,
I will know, that at least
You had one.

God’s Body

God’s Body
Was created
to travel and move
and grow and
touch others
was told the
route. The eyes saw
where there were dangers. The feet walked on and on.
The legs used strength to keep up. Everything worked and
The body was strong and grew and travelled. But. One day, a hand
slipped into a warm
pocket, thinking,
“The other hand
can do my work,
it’s warm in here.”
And no one noticed.
Body travelled on. He
reached a gate. One hand,
working alone could not undo
the latch. “It’s fine,”thought brain,
“Foot can do it, he has toes.”But
foot could not. So body had to
climb through hedge. This took
longer. Foot got a thorn in heel.
No one cared though. Legs and
stomach said, “It’s fine, we can
cope, we can slither.” So they
did. But now body was low.
Mud went in eye.
Nose complained,
he had to sniff
the route
and breathe.
It was too hard.
Brain tried to think of a solution.
So he stopped listening to directions.
The body fell. Into a pit. Body is hurt,
blind, crippled, fallen, weak.
Then God, in wondrous grace and kindness, gently helps hand from pocket.
He lifts body to his feet once more and sets him back onto the right path.
The body begins to move and travel and grow until at last he can touch others.


Goodbye By Anne E Thompson

I went to say goodbye,
But you had already gone.
Just your scrumpled body was there,

Your skin was cold,
And rubbery,
And one eye was slightly open,
But unseeing.

There were no sounds of you,
Or even smells.
The air was calm,
There was not even a tingle of you.

I squeezed your arm,
It was solid and unmoving.

I tried to speak,
To think you words.
But I had nothing to say.

You knew that I loved you,
You had hugged me many times.
I know you were pleased with me.

So I am left,
With a chasm of missing you.
Remembering happy times,
And few regrets.

I went to say goodbye,
But you hadn’t waited.

There was nothing

You needed to hear.

Family Battles

Family Battles
by Anne E Thompson

I felt your rage today,
Your teenage venom,
As you slammed your fist,
Eyes spitting hatred
Because you had lost a book.
And I could have won,
I could have cried.
And you would back away
In surprised confusion.
But then you would have
No safe haven
In which to dump your anger.

You argued with me today.
With vicious words and
Cruel tongue to justify
A selfish action.
And I could have won,
I could have mocked
And wounded your pride,
Belittled confidence.
But then you would have
No self esteem,
My sneer would damage you.

You slammed a door today
And refused to help
When you broke a vase,
Not caring at all,
Absorbed only in your world.
And I could have won.
I could have sulked,
Withdrawn lifts and treats,
Not listened anymore.
But then you would have
No assurance
That I always forgive.

So I let you win,
And correct softly
When you abuse rights.
For one day you will be grown,
Calm and mature,
Confident, secure
And you will look at life
with love.
And then at last
I will truly
Have won.


Thank you for reading.

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