In the third month after…

On 21st April our daughter Eleanor died.


“I wonder if you ever found my purse?

One of my last memories is giving it to a nurse.

Probably you got my stuff back from the hospital,

The clothes you’d bought me, the new dressing gown, did you bring it all

Home? Then you would have my handbag with the purse inside.

Open it – I had no cash- you’ll find my useful cards. In pride

Of place, the ANGUS ACCESS CARD of which I was reminded

Here, where all see goodness with eyes no longer blinded

By self or sorrow, because of all the good it did for me:

the means of getting all the services the County readily

Provides its residents according to their needs; in my case,

poor and crippled, with buses, swimming pools and libraries.

You use a car, but think of an isolated woman on the bus

Happy to be amongst people, to travel free with no fuss, 

To speak a little perhaps. Envisage you were once athletic

But now your bones are brittle and your strength pathetic

How good it is to feel the water bear you up, your arms cleave it.

And if like me you want to read ten books a week, could you achieve it

Without a library? Do you remember the one in Arbroath, a mansion

With welcoming staff and and open shelves where you can get your hands on

12 books at a time? Local government is derided but it worked miracles

For me, so when I hear people complain about its charges, my hackles

Rise, even now. Heaven knows the worth of individual caring, yet

What marvels we can do when kindnesses are corporate

And placed within political routine. If you find the card (no pressure!)

Hold it as one of the earthly things that I still treasure.”

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