the face in the window

for those that love and have learnt to love

every day on the way to school we pass by Loollabelle’s,

and she busy with the builders’ doorstep orders,

a line of students from the Howard impatient,

finds time to wave, acknowledge our passing.


her mother lives in the Barnes Wallis Association flats,

right on the edge of the KGV, past the St Lawrence hall;

she’s seated by the window in the mornings, eyes still sharp

noting all that is life and not life in the street.

sometimes we stop, sometimes she stops us,

asks the girls what they’re doing that day,

when next they’ll be baking a tray of cookies,

and can she reserve her special chocolaty batch?

she knows my daughters by name, a monumental memory –

rooted as she is at the crossroads to the village schools,

a portal to the past and present, her lines sketched into the clouds

which scudding guide each young life onward to their written ends.


then one morning she was not there; my youngest wondered why.


discretely, while waiting for a hot chocolate, i asked.

Loolla said she did not want my daughters to cry.

“Tell them my mother missed her husband so much

she went to be with him forever,”

and that is what i relay to them,

but there are times when we pass and we see her reflection still,

eyes bright as the source of the first light,

watching over all who pass by her window,

and i swear i see a plate of cookies by her hand.


© Bhi 2023
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Had me in tears at the end, such a lovely snippet of another’s life.


Damn, shoot me now! Here is a most excellent poem, and all I can do is spot where I’d punctuated differently!! It was the upper and lower case I’s that seduced me. Okay! Take a breath, read it again…Aloud! And yes, its marvellous.


Yes, that would explain the lower case i’s. I defer to your artistic judgment.


You are right; it was the lower case ‘i’s’ that threw me – an they aren’t punctuation – strictly speaking; or not?


A moving story well constructed with layers of explicit and implicit details about the village. Death seems to be a recurring theme in your lats few posts. While it needs to be explored and accepted, it should not overwhelm that which is life.

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