Ada: new letters poem up for comments



How I begin to know you through these letters.

In 1923 she was away from home, your girlie,

leaving behind three clumsy boys

and two baby daughters to plague you.


That winter was so harsh

the wind blew the pictures off the wall

and your cough gusted through the house,

your chest creaked like old floorboards

and you wrote of everything you did,

saving scraps of gossip about secret weddings

to piece together with the oppression

of household chores, the perils

of ironing with a badly-cut thumb,

the days it took the washing to dry

and little Dorothy going worse naughty,

smashing all the plates, while namesake Ada

screamed and yowled because she did not know

like older ones, how to write a letter.


The house must have quietened at night

while the boys laboured over their letters;

my father’s carefully neat, Vincent’s scrawled,

not yet master of his pen, and you’re exhausted

but no power can stop you writing page after page

in your carefully flowing script. For doesn’t

a mother cat cry when a kitty is lost.

Ada, grandmother, how alike we are

two mothers looking out for our dear ones.



1 Comment

Filed under poetry, The Inspirational Old Letters

One response to “Ada: new letters poem up for comments

  1. lynda fox

    I really enjoyed this Angela it had a real feel of the time,and produced REAL pictures in my head,which to me is very important when reading poetry.