Today, would have been her birthday;
her gaze – mesmerising, from the wall
above my piano; brown eyes, blonde bob
in perfect waves...red lipstick – cheeks,
customarily rouged, not a hair out of place,
so very dapper, in her navy-blue,
I miss her like hell...more than a decade
since; like I missed her, way back then –
ravaged, in the end, by that arch enemy,
Alzheimer’s. I recall countless occasions
I’d ring her up...an utter ‘wiz’ with words,
as she was; me – stuck, good and proper,
with The Telegraph Crossword.
Strange, how she regarded war-time
as the ‘best days of her life’. Maybe
because she'd met her fiancé then; Reg.
They said he was a pilot, not that she
ever spoke of him. I guess that’s why
she’d never married; the odd affair, here
and there. They never came to anything;
keeping herself for him.
And the last letter he wrote, plus his photo,
tucked, in secret, in her handbag...ever
by her side, even when her mind went,
is with her now. And, pinned to the dress
I sent her off in, on that final journey...
those wings of hers she earned, of which
she was always so proud.
I hope they served her well – sped her,
safe, to wherever she may be and I wish
to God she could help me, right this minute,
with three down. A seven letter word
begins with 'F'... and the clue, ‘It’s a thing
with wings’. I’ve a hunch it’s ‘Freedom’,
and, that she’d agree.