Goodbye, Rose.

My mother died on Sunday, aged 88.

Although her name was Joyce, she was known to the kids in the family as Rose.The photograph was taken in 1938 when she worked on The Northern Echo in Darlington. This is where she met my father. They married in 1939, just months after war was declared. She’d be about 16 or 17 years old when the photo was taken.


I wrote this poem for her years ago.


unkempt, uncut,
stems wincing on windows
in a new year’s wind

still they lift
their white heads up

how do they do it?
for look – March now
and new leaves un-
curl, capillaries
dark red as if
blood were their sap

For the last five years she lived in the North Park Care Centre, Darlington. The staff there were marvellous and I’d like to thank them on behalf of the whole family for the personal care and attention they gave her.



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