U n c o n d i t i o n a l L o v e
You put champ on the table
a glistening mound of white potato
golden-topped, sprouting green.
Or, you had a pot of jam on the go
the aroma filling the house
with a sticky sweetness, your apron
splashed bloody, a basin of shiny
black jewels ready for the next batch
on the scrubbed Formica worktop.
Food prepared with love
eaten with relish – we never went hungry
were clothed thanks to your expertise
with the needle, warm, snug –
you’d joke you’d knit us a man
when we were hormone-raging teenagers.
Everything was comforting, a close-knit family unit
us against the world. Difficult to
cope when she flew the nest
and found people out there were not
like us. Ironically they don’t really
begin to talk, until she fell from the invisibly
erected, pedestal, the eldest daughter’s
path gone awry, hitting dead-ends
cages every-which-way she turned
salvation at the end of a phone line
but most of all, the soul-deep knowledge
that you were there, always there
your unconditional love a gift
she finally embraced.