Tag Archives: family

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

Grampee

Merry eyes, wicked smile, teller of tales.
Grandfather mine, I would sit on your knee
hear of Susan, the Mule that liked to kick officers
and saved you on a mountain pass.
How you were called the
Prince of Baghdad by your comrades
and of meeting real Princes in India.
Self taught, you bought me
Maths books to read with you
taught me poetry
squeezed me into your
invalid carriage and drove to
expensive French restaurants for lunch.
Your love of life and learning
and food
is mine, forever.

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem is linkes back to Open link night at Dverse

Rattling the Drawers

I was spoon fed them
accepting passively the gift
yet another small burden to carry down the years
plastic bag of large sliver spoons all tarnished
a bit like me

Left in a cupboard
rediscovered when decorating
polished laboriously
put experimentally in a drawer

Now each meal uses one or two
dolloping pasta or curry onto family plates
use keeps them shiny, blessed fact
and their surfaces reflect laughter and love

I regret not asking my mother
back in her living time
where they came from
within a small working class family

Already I see the ones I will give this summer
to my eldest son and the woman he loves
as they start their lives together

I hope she will not see them as a burden

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was first published by An Ink Slingers Observance in their June 2020 print edition.

Peering into the Kitchen

It’s Christmas Eve and the kitchen is a mess
everything crusted with flour as more pastry is made
because someone has eaten all the mince pies already.

The jelly stuffed full of Rum soaked sponges has finally set
providing a foundation for our Christmas Trifle
and the Christmas Cake has been iced
with red rocketships rather than holly.

Meanwhile someone is melting dark chocolate
to make a Yule Log the way Grandad used to
and not looking guilty at all.

I smile and close the door on my adult sons as
their chocolate fuelled laughter resounds in my ears.
Christmas is finally here!

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem appeared here last year, but I want to share it again! It describes our own little Christmas Eve tradition.

Many years ago, I would leave the bulk of the Christmas baking until Christmas Eve, and have an all day marathon with my two little boys. By the time Daddy came home from work, they were happy and above all tired. Not over excited at all, so sleep came easy to them and Father Christmas could drink his Calvados, eat his mince pie and fill those stockings.

The mess is a family joke –when they were young, somehow the house on Christmas Eve was littered with floury handprints…

Alas, last year and this year someone is elsewhere and baby bro (all 6 foot of him) is baking alone……

Toxic

I’m so tall, I’m so tall
Yet you raised me to be so small

As waves wash an uncaring shore
So I would wash you with my love

As they caress rocks and pebbles
I used to kiss your uncaring cheek

Waited with the patience of waves
For you to regard me

To see the woman I had become
As someone you could be proud of

That tide went out years ago
I now walk a different shore

I’m so tall, I’m so tall
Yet you raised me to be so small

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Misquote in italics from Living on the Ceiling by Neil Arthur and Stephen Alfred Luscombe

Uncle

Waking up with Nanny in her soft double bed
the room white and pink with swans and roses
Sunday morning and you would bring milky tea
Hot in her best rose gold china cup and saucers
we would sip, little fingers raised as you left
Before we too rose

Later, your Saturday visits to our house
bringing a bounty of colourful comics to read
And a secret pocket of sweets, for Mum not to see
How my brothers and I took you for granted
Never noticed the shining love in your eyes

Your hand grasping mine in supplication
As they wheeled you, protesting to surgery
from which you did not return, your
faltering loving heart finally stopping
Under the anaesthetists care

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

All in the Family

Raging against the rest of us
she calls us feeble sheep
doltards, retards, connivers in
our own imprisonment
bitter enemies of freedom

Freedom being, apparently
the right to party
to go down the pub
drink yourself insensible
and to then post photos of your creative craziness
as you throw up in the gutter

My freedoms are different
yes, I long to see and hug
but I need more to stay alive
to walk in fresh air, to read, to think
in peace and in health

Freedom , as always, is mutable

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Friday Poem: Climbing My Grandfather

I decide to do it free, without a rope or net.
First, the old brogues, dusty and cracked;
an easy scramble onto his trousers,
pushing into the weave, trying to get a grip.
By the overhanging shirt I change
direction, traverse along his belt
to an earth-stained hand. The nails
are splintered and give good purchase,
the skin of his finger is smooth and thick
like warm ice. On his arm I discover
the glassy ridge of a scar, place my feet
gently in the old stitches and move on.
At his still firm shoulder, I rest for a while
in the shade, not looking down,
for climbing has its dangers, then pull
myself up the loose skin of his neck
to a smiling mouth to drink among teeth.
Refreshed, I cross the screed cheek,
to stare into his brown eyes, watch a pupil
slowly open and close. Then up over
the forehead, the wrinkles well-spaced
and easy, to his thick hair (soft and white
at this altitude), reaching for the summit,
where gasping for breath I can only lie
watching clouds and birds circle,
feeling his heat, knowing
the slow pulse of his good heart.

By Andrew Waterhouse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Waterhouse