This one is maternal recommendation. It has such a warm vision of what happens to us after we pass on yet it is not clichéd or overly-sentimental. To my mother, it recalls her mother’s mother who died in 1943 leaving six children aged between twelve and three – that lady has been mourned for seventy years so there is a peace and tranquillity to imagining a home-coming and a reunion. For me perhaps I like to imagine hearing my Grandpa’s distinctive cough through the wall as he starts to get up – although to be fair, a less peaceful but equally cherished memory is him opening the door to mine and my cousin’s room to tell us crossly that it was ‘still the middle of the night’ and we needed to be quiet while we indignantly pointed out that the sun was shining and we wanted to get up. The point is that this poem cherishes the rediscovery of those treasured routines, a kind of resurrection that lacks in drama but instead is full of the love that is what has made us human in the first place.
Is it true that after this life of ours we shall one day be awakened
by a terrifying clamour of trumpets?
Forgive me, God, but I console myself
that the beginning and resurrection of all of us dead
will simply be announced by the crowing of the cock.
After that we’ll remain lying down a while …
The first to get up
will be Mother … We’ll hear her
quietly laying the fire,
quietly putting the kettle on the stove
and cosily taking the teapot out of the cupboard.
We’ll be home once more.