14 December 2010

Tuesday poem: 'Going Back' by Tim Jones

Going Back

My mother is the gap in the windbreak
the fallen macrocarpa
the flooded river and the flooded plain.

The radio, not tuned to any station
the rails removed from a siding
the gash in the mountain's side.

My mother is the doorway
and the grip of my father's hand
and the stubble of his cheek on mine.

The missing face in the kitchen
the absent chair at the table
the silence under all we say.

Remembering, unforgetting,
on the edge of sleep in the darkness
my mother is each toss and turn.

The need to leave in the morning
the long goodbye to my father
the driveway and the car I drive.

My mother is the corner
the anxious overtaking
the yellow lines that double in my eyes.

The last lap of the journey
the final tick of the engine
my mother is the road I travel home.

by Tim Jones

I chose this poem because I love it. Every time I read it I get shivery. I feel that to analyse it too much would be to flatten it, and what I love about it is its subtlety - the subtle way it deals with grief.

'Going Back' was in Tim's second poetry book, All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens (HeadworX, 2007).

As well as being a poet, Tim Jones writes short stories and novels, both 'literary' and 'speculative', manages a day job, and is a husband and father. He blogs here: http://timjonesbooks.blogspot.com/.

Check out other Tuesday poems via the hub blog: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/


Tim Jones said...

Thanks for posting this poem, Helen, and for saying such lovely things about it!

AJ Ponder said...

Helen, what a fantastic choice. A very evocative poem from Tim.

Elizabeth Welsh said...

I, too, had shivers from this poem, Helen. It resonates with me long after reading. Lovely words, Tim!

elderflowerpressee said...

This poem took my breath away. Thank you for posting it.

Helen Lowe said...

I always enjoy Tim's poetry. This one is no exception.