Poems from Dinah Smith



For Her Birthday

The people she's forgotten bring her flowers

And birthday cards, with words she cannot read.

What does she know of years and days and hours?


The hothouse blooms her little room embower

And people tell her, "You are old, indeed!"

The people she's forgotten, who bring her flowers.


Her garden's bleak with winter's icy showers,

And memories of summertime recede.

What does she know of years and days and hours?


Too long, too long the days of fading powers,

The weakening brain, the terrifying need.

But people she's forgotten bring her flowers.


She thinks there was a garden once, with flowers,

And children, who had not yet learned to grieve.

What does she know of years and days and hours?


Stray glimmers pierce the dark that overpowers,

Though memory's a strand of broken beads.

But people she's forgotten bring her flowers.

What does she know of years and days and hours?




Winter Leaf

Unseen by you, I saw you yet again,

Crossing the park.

I knew at once your gait, your walk,

The way your suit coat hung close to the curve of your back,

Where, once, my arms had clung.


I fixed upon your hair,

Remembering how it smelt - astringent, clean -

And how it felt - the silver, waving strands, like soft silk,

Threading through my hands.


You stopped, as if to turn,

Under a chestnut tree,

Where conkers lay, all strewn along the ground,

And picked one up and held it in your palm,

Later to slip into the small, soft hand

Of grandchild, dear to you.

And then you walked away,

Crushing the dead leaves where they lay.


Oh, how I longed for you then,

Knowing if I had only been as once I was, when I was young.

I would have held you now.

Just so, in the palm of my hand,

Who now am just another winter leaf,

Unnoticed, crushed beneath your careless feet!




About Dinah Smith

Dinah Smith writes from her own experience of a long life. She has shared some of her poems at Open Mic events at local pubs and at Warwick Literary Festival, where she was named Poet Laureate in 2011. Several of her poems have appeared in online publications.

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