Birthday girl

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.

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