Friday, 28 January 2011

Andrew before birth:

imagine he’s sitting at a table

in a kitchen with hams hanging on hooks

and eggs a-frying (garlic and fennel)

- in a time before time - and a small sun

burgeoning outside - lifts the sky

(and a vigilant hare) into listening heart.

Around that scrubbed table sit three people;

the son of my second son’s unborn son,

an old man who’s been here before – and a

tweed bedecked lady, lipsticked and twinkling,

holding a cigarette and whiskey glass.

‘What will it be?’ says the old man, earnest

as an owl. ‘Performer.’ says the lady

‘Stand-up or West End – he might make it big!’

“A hero,’ says the boy ‘master or leader!’

Andrew’s head drops and the man simply smiles.

‘They need me’ says Andrew ‘my cross will be

heavy. Down’s Syndrome for me, mate, let’s go.’


  1. look at this competition

  2. Would like to get in contact with you about a poetry project.
    Can't figure out your email address.

  3. I came back to this one several times that day, imagining, like you said, the table, and this conversation. My mother has an older friend whose granddaughter has a son with Down's. The granddaughter passed away from cancer a year or so ago, and her husband looks after him now. He's older than Andrew, and has had many health problems. But the same story, a beautiful boy and a blessing.

  4. I really feel the last line, about you guys needing him. Sometimes it adds a needed balance, things like that, godbless you and your family friend

  5. Beautifully done, John. This is my favorite of all you've written, but then, that's because it made me cry. One of the advantages to being a GOOD poet is that you share an open heart. Can't use enough words to hide behind. Again, well done!

  6. A powerful poem.
    And a reminder: beyond the handicap
    A spirit, as bright and clear
    As any other living here.

    Kay O2

  7. How strange... I didn't mean to add those extra spaces in the second line. I'm not sure how I did. I guess this site takes some getting used to. At least they're set up to allow line breaks, even in the comments. :)

  8. Just amazing your Mind is unbelievable how you express these thoughts in poetry is out of this world This is now my favourite :))) just simply beautiful stunning work beez ;))

  9. Do we all choose our life's burden? Your touching poem provides the answer and there's some healing in it.