Eleanor Mair 1/9/71 – 21/4/2020
You got birthday cards from Jules and Duncan, I doubt
I’ll get any when I’m dead, seeing I get none
When alive, so you should feel honoured
If in that strange place to which you’ve gone
Worldly love still counts. Jesus said there were no
Marriages in heaven, warning us that
Heaven isn’t a detached villa in the sky
Or even an economical council flat.
So no families there, for “they shall be like angels.”
Thinking of you as an angel makes me snigger,
but I hope you can still feel our our affection.
The miracle of your new life is a trigger
For memories of that other miracle, your birth.
I intended to be with your mum in labour
But tough nurses shoo’d me out from most of it
Then let me back in for maybe
The last ten minutes before they dragged you
Red and screaming into the air,
Scary small mammal person needing
arms and milk and many years of care,
A being like no other in whose genesis
We had shared. I vowed then I’d protect you
From the filthy world and even from my filthy
Self: whatever fate threw at you, I’d deflect to
Give you the best chance. I failed, overestimating
My wisdom and my love, minimising
My faults, so now this anniversary
Cannot be a simple nice thing
Since filled with yearning for the birthday girl
No longer here, but shining in the ranks
Of (really?) angels. With Duncan and with Jules
We remember you and give thanks.