Category Archives: children

Comfort Food

We drove back exhausted
you resting that nearly blind eye
me trying to focus on the road ahead
clinging to my steering wheel

This morning the optician had taken one look and
sent us hell for leather to a local hospital
where the consultant quailed, sent us
even faster to a top specialist

Several hours driving from town to town
then to the big port city
hurry up and wait, and again
Like at an airport, but worse

Finally, a laser welded your eye together
and we made the last call home
to our anxious schoolboy son
who fretfully asked how long we would be

Finally at home, we opened the front door
to the smell of baking breads
sizzling Halloumi, grilled Aubergines
fresh made hummous

A dining table laid with the best plates and cutlery
crystal glasses and
love

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Toddler

You cuddle up to me in your sleep, comforted by mother warmth
What do you dream little man, my child full of wonder
You exhaust  me by day and then enthrall me at your time of sleeping
Always asking for more, lifting my soul and life
Every day is an  adventure for us
As I discover the world in and through your eyes

  Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

I wrote this poem when my sons were much much younger….they are both adults now!

The Teenage Years

All bets are off in the teenage years
You still share your child’s hopes and fears
But they are a child no more –Can you hear that slammed door?
It’s a bumpy ride–Sometimes Jekyll, sometimes Hyde
You love them to bits, you can’t stand them anymore
And there again is that slamming door
You glimpse a young woman, you glimpse a young man –Try to catch them if you can
Sometimes it seems they’re a toddler again –Needing to share some of the pain
Do you remember when this was you?
Now you know what your parents went through……

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

I thought this would resonate with all those living with Teeenagers in Lockdown…..

Foundlings

Here in a new box, old coins
we spill them onto the carpet
and small fingers pick out treasures.
A farthing, worn smooth
once the price of a meal
Indian rupees, Iraqi drachma
souvenirs of imperial service
I think of my Grampee
young and splendid in uniform.
My sons make pirate cries.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Foundlings’ was first published by Allegro in the September 2020 issue: https://www.allegropoetry.org/p/issue-25-september-2020.html

Across the road

Was a whole different universe,
of course the road was the A40
or the Western Avenue as we called it then.
One side urban west London
the other a seemingly limitless sprawl of brambles
riddled with paths sized for squeezing small children
as if the local mothers had arranged it so
that adults could not blackberry but only
give instructions from the edges.
Everyone brambled in summer
red stained children limping home
at days end with huge leaking bags of berries
and a future full of pies and jam.
The real magic of that place was a stream
clear and sparkling, running over pebbles
in places deep and wide, where
baby brothers could be washed
and drinking cups filled.
The shallows were my solitary joy in spring when
armed with a net and an empty jam jar I searched for
blushed red male Sticklebacks, to bring them home
and watch them, marvelling at
their writhing sinuous shapes,
those outsized blue-green eyes
the sharp stickles on each back.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Taking part in Sarah Connor’s challenge over at Earthweal.

Here’s Sarah’s prompt:

“So, for this prompt, I’d like you to think about how you first felt connected to nature – maybe as a child, or as an adult. Some of those lost words may inspire you, or you may have your own lost word (or world?) that gave you a sense of wonder at the natural world around you. Maybe you collected caterpillars, or watched birds on a bird-table, or squatted down to watch beetles, or looked up to see squirrels in the treetops.”

Baby Brother

This wonderful poem from Glenys has really taken me back to dressing up my little boy for the school pickup–he had a Loch Ness monster hat!

lifecameos

Baby brother is dressed up
to collect his sisters from
school st home time.

Great Grandma knitted his bright
striped beanie, cousin Paul grew
out of the dashing dinosaur leggings;
little friend Oliver passed on the
jacket with Barney on it. The
tiny tartan sneakers came from
Sarah over the road, she’s at
kindergarten now, nearly a big girl.

Yes the big girls at school
will gush and coo and gasp
over him – he enjoys that already.

Mummy thinks he is cool too.
Holding him on her hip she
tickles his ribs with her free hand.
He giggles and wriggles
wiggles and jiggles
chuckles then shrieks
gleefully, joyously
grinning from ear to ear
energetically, excitedly.

It’s a happy day today !

Previously posted November 2016.

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Riverine

My youngest son is rushing
from the sharp hills of adolescence
over rocks and stones, always onwards
like a river to an unfathomable ocean

His thoughts are deep
his soul ancient, older than the flow
kept within his banks

He bickers down valleys
sometimes stilled, mostly calm
until an overflow of joy
forces a burst, a breaking of the levee
and he talks, oh he talks
of his passions, fears and hopes
as a waterfall speaking to the wind

Who will dive into his depths
see the treasures within clear waters
bring them to the surface
for the world to see

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Stanza 2 References “The Negro Speaks of Rivers By Langston Hughes 

Friday Poem: On My First Daughter

Here lies, to each her parents’ ruth,
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven’s gifts being heaven’s due,
It makes the father less to rue.
At six months’ end she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven’s queen, whose name she bears,
In comfort of her mother’s tears,
Hath placed amongst her virgin-train:
Where, while that severed doth remain,
This grave partakes the fleshly birth;
Which cover lightly, gentle earth!

By Ben Jonson