Keeping Mum

I rush, reach the bus stop frazzled; laden,
like a bag lady, with creased carriers.

The frail old woman, topped up with optimism
straight from Sunday service, contrives to chat;

she’s lost her husband, children live away.
Where am I off to?

‘Visiting mam’, I say;
see her assume roast dinner, happy family.

I look down at my baggage; toiletries,
clean clothes, cakes for residents and staff

- haven’t the heart to hit her with the truth,
she follows so hot on my mother’s heels.

Ann Gibson

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Ann Gibson would be pleased to hear them.