Mother Love

 

This is a tribute to my Mother.

My Mother, who has always been there, for my Father, for my Sister. For me.

As I edge towards the end of my fifth decade of life, I find myself thinking about all that she must have done and seen, all that she must have lived through that I will never know about. What was it like for her before me? And what was it like having to give birth to a deformed child? And yet she nursed me. She raised me. She taught me to be a good boy. She loved my face.

She was there the day I discovered my Father could cry. My Sister poked gentle fun at her for falling asleep watching television. And she’d listen patiently as I babbled everything I thought my teenaged self needed to say. Of course, I’d figure it out eventually, whatever it was. It was just nice to know that someone cared.

My Mother.

She welcomed my soon to be Wife with open arms. She grieved on the day I married and left the nest. We continued to hold hands over the telephone. Her heart never abandoned me, my Mother, who was kindness personified. Who I strive to emulate.

And now I see that time has caught up with her. Now she’s a ghost of her former self, no longer the woman I grew up with, looked up to. Kindness personified has become a slow and drawn out forgetting. She is reduced to haunting the shadowed halls of her oldest memories. I hope at least it’s beautiful there.

Is it supposed to be like this? Is it not enough that we die? Must we also be stripped of everything we are and hold dear? Must we be taken away before we’re truly taken away? Yet we live like there will be a tomorrow, hopeful in the face of certain oblivion.

For my birthday this year I want the impossible gift. I want her disease to be lifted, thrown away. I want my Mother to live well into her nineties, happy and full of years. I’m not ready to let go.

I wish you could have met my Mother, back when her spark was compassionate and bright. But she is fading now, and most likely won’t remember you. My Mother, who loved my face. Who stooped low for me. Who fed me watermelon.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

GUEST POST // A Birthday Poem by B K Rollason

There comes a time
for taking stock
of what one’s had
and what one’s got,

of where one’s going
and where one’s been,
of what one’s heard
and what one’s seen.

You know the games,
you’ve learnt the rules,
you can tell the wisemen
from the fools,

you’ve learned that all’s
not as it seems,
that life is both
reality and dreams,

and like the tides
that ebb and flow,
life’s sometimes fast
and oft’ times slow.

To survive the storm
a tree must bend,
and a new day starts
where this one ends.

 

by B K Rollason
© All rights reserved 1982

Teti-à-Tête (With Tony) #10

crumble-cult-210

Tati as TATI

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Tony as TONY

 

ACT 26 SCENE 11
PAGE FLIPS & FLIP-FLOPS

 

Tati is sitting on a branch high above the ground. She’s almost hidden from view by the tree’s foliage. The only reason Tony can see her at all is because her legs are dangling beneath it in the open air. Tati’s left flip-flop dangles from one big toe, and Tony steps aside so that he doesn’t get a flip-flop slap between the eyes.

TONY: Hi, Tati! What are you doing up there?

TATI: What? What did you say, Tony? I can’t hear you.

TONY: Well, don’t expect me to climb all the way up there, thank you! I don’t wish to slip and break my neck!

TATI: Oh, I’ve always known you were a lazy, old, weak-as-piss arse!

TONY: And I love you too. Sheesh. The question stands. What are you doing?

TATI: Don’t try to muddle me with your loosey-goosey gnomology! Answer me this: How long has it been since we released our last book?

TONY: Erm… October 2016, I think. And what do gnomes have to do with you being up a tree?

TATI: Timber!

Tati slides down the tree trunk like it’s a fireman’s pole.

TONY: How the hell did you do that without getting splinters everywhere?

Tony gingerly touches the tree.

TONY: Nope. It’s not been greased or anything…

TATI: You’re a master of the runaround, Tony! Gnomes and splinters are foreign to my question!

TONY: Well, never mind the fact that you completely ignore mine…

TATI: I ask you, have you put together our new book yet?

TONY: YES! I have, okay? God!

Tati thrusts ‘One Pulse’ under Tony’s nose.

TATI: And where is it? I’ve reread ‘One Pulse’ a dozen times! I remember every line and every poem by heart! Don’t you think it’s time I had something new to read?

TONY: You read your own work all the time? Wow. Talk about narcissistic…

Tati is completely surprised at this.

TATI: Don’t you read our books, Tony? Please, you mustn’t tell me that you’ve failed to buy them!

TONY: Why would I buy the books that I’ve helped to write? That doesn’t make any sense!

TATI: I knew it! You’re a tight bastard! You don’t want to support young, promising poets!

TONY: How will it help us if we buy our own freaking books? We’re not gonna get rich that way!

TATI: No? Strange. I was certain it would be the most sure way.

TONY: No! A thousand times no! We need to sell these books we write to other people. That’s the only way this money-making thing will ever work. Frankly, I’m surprised I have to explain this to an accountant. You are an accountant, right?

TATI: What? What did you say, Tony? I can’t hear you.

Tati becomes transparent, and her voice distant and low.

TONY: I’m standing right beside you, woman.

Tati disappears with a soft hiss, like the bubbles that pop over a glass of lemonade. Tony looks more irritated than surprised about this.

TONY: Is she ever going to listen to me someday?

Tony rolls over to his other side and mutters in his sleep.

TONY: Such a crankypants! The manuscript is ready. The cover is ready, dammit. What more does she want?

He smacks his lips between snores.

TONY: ‘Nothing to read.’ Tsk tsk!

Tony doesn’t suspect that in exactly five minutes he will wake up because of a flip-flop slap between the eyes and a wauling Tati. Poor thing!

Yes, Dear Reader, this is all just Tony’s dream but our new book is not.

 

 

PS: By the way, one half of Unbolt Me celebrates their birthday today. In honour of this, we have prepared a little surprise for you over on our Patreon page. Don’t worry, entry is absolutely free!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

Blooming

for my Purple Creature

Please, please, don’t think that
butterflies are silly with
a short memory

Please, please, don’t think that
they sit on this withered bush
without a purpose

No… They remember
its beauty. They remember
all colors and forms

How it bloomed before
a thunder-bolt that summer
Yes, they remember

They sit the same day
every year… it’s a present
The birthday present
The present from butterflies
for their depressed withered friend

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2015