THE VISIT – From ‘Awakening’
When I was at my first school
I used to pass my grandmother’s house on the way home.
Every day I called to see her
and had a biscuit and a glass of milk.
She would always ask about my day at school
and loved to hear me recite a poem
or read a passage from our reading book.
Sometimes there would be long silences
and then I was glad to get away
and used to run up the road to our house.
On my eighth birthday
she was asleep in her chair beside the fire.
On the table was my milk and a present wrapped in paper.
I drank the milk quietly,
took the present,
and closed the door quietly as I went out.
When I got home and told my mother
she put her coat on and ran down the road
as fast as her legs would carry her.
I will never know whether I should have kissed her
or tried to waken her.
I will always remember how happy she looked.