The Wave

Andrew Motion

For my mother at 75

The sun-room, but there’s only drizzly rain
Finessing silly doodles on the view
Of what would otherwise be summer grass
And blameless lupins blazing at the stake.
So all eyes turn indoors. And here again
Like kindly furies standing over you
Are friends and family who raise a glass
Then falter, smile, and wait for you to speak.

You flap your hand, half anxious, half amazed –
A hand the years have softened like a slip
Of soap dissolving when it makes a dive
And settles underwater in the pearly-greys
Created by what used to be its shape –
Or would, if you were here and still alive.