Pennar and Newbridge in the Rhondda, are in my mostly maternal family’s DNA, and elements descend down into the ‘bones’ of we the surviving family members. That is why the memories I describe hold so much meaning. These people are, were, very influential in my life.
Buckets of slag have ceased to fly.
Don doesn’t whistle as he passes by
Old TY Pennar at night –
His signal that all was well.
He’s a richer man with money,
But poorer for the loss of his Alice
Who lays old in an early grave.
Aunt Jess, too, no longer there,
Where, at a few months age,
Mother displayed me with pride
Atop a blanket on the front lawn
Twixt grandma, and the greater –
Four generations shuttered still.
Dear Miss Colebrook doesn’t smile
Nor give me a kiss from her bed.
Her windows have been changed,
Her roof renewed in slate,
Mod cons installed a’plenty,
But only now she’s gone!
Dear Aunt Marge doesn’t sit
On the wall out front, where
Gran and Grandad stood proud –
With a ginger Cat about their feet
When all was well in their world.
When Grandma’s arms could
Make me feel at home.
It’s all changed.
They’re all entombed.
Who was Ninety-Five,
Then marooned in a ground-floor flat
At nearby Pontllanfraith.
… but the green, green grass remains.
© Allen Ansell 2022