Back in the pool at 6.30am - hurrah! The mornings aren't even dark now. Bit of a challenge as the lanes were busy, but 1k seemed to go by quickly and I was glad to be back in there. Plus, after such an early start, the day is so much longer, plenty of time to get lots done! And perhaps it's psychosomatic, or magic even, but I don't think I'm quite so creaky this evening.
Today was my mum's anniversary, three years already. Here's a poem by Carol Ann Duffy about her mother. She's written a few which mention parents, but I think this one is particularly moving.
Before You Were Mine
I'm ten years away from the corner you laugh on
with your pals, Maggie McGeeney and Jean Duff.
The three of you bend from the waist, holding
each other, or your knees, and shriek at the pavement.
Your polka-dot dress blows round your legs. Marilyn.
I'm not here yet. The thought of me doesn't occur
in the ballroom with the thousand eyes, the fizzy movie tomorrows
the right walk home could bring. I knew you would dance
like that. Before you were mine, your Ma stands at the close
with a hiding for the late one. You reckon it's worth it.
The decade ahead of my loud, possessive yell was the best one, eh?
I remember my hands in those high-heeled red shoes, relics,
and now your ghost clatters toward me over George Square
till I see you, clear as scent, under the tree,
with its lights, and whose small bites on your neck, sweetheart?
Cha cha cha! You'd teach me the steps on the way home from Mass,
stamping stars from the wrong pavement. Even then
I wanted the bold girl winking in Portobello, somewhere
in Scotland before I was born. That glamorous love lasts
where you sparkle and waltz and laugh before you were mine.
Carol Ann Duffy
from Mean Time, Anvil Press