Friday, 8 June 2012

Left in Charge - Elizabeth Jennings

This is a sonnet which Elizabeth Jennings dedicated to my mother, after she stayed in my mother's house in Oxford while my mother was away.

It captures something of both of them, so is particularly special to me...

Left in Charge

No ghosts haunt here or, if they do, they are
Kindly and gentle. When I climb the stairs
There are no creaking steps. I see one star
Greeting me through a window which lays bare

A happy street.  Young voices come and go.
A train moves in the distance and it brings
Back echoing times when childhood days went slow
And sleep came quickly. All about are things -

Books, paintings, statues - chosen with large care.
Nothing is unsafe for the children who
Come often to meet my host who is elsewhere.

Her love has left this house to me.  I know
Trust and joy which fill the scented air
Took quiet days and nights to stay and grow.

Elizabeth Jennings


Anonymous said...


Ben Trovato said...

Glad you like it Jackie: probably the only published poem referring to me (albeit indirectly - I was one of 'the children' referred to...)