One Poem by Rennie Halstead

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

The Chair

They called me when my mother died,
confused, all sense,
all comprehension gone in a mist
of lost sensation.

I thought the house was long since sold,
eaten by care home fees,
was surprised when my sister,
speaking again after fifteen years,
took me, showed me
the graffitti, the ruin
and mother’s chair.

We sat on the porch in younger days
scrambling on mother’s knee,
climbing like monkeys,
clinging to her dress, her hair,
fighting even then.

I stared at the neglect,
the memory soiled,
the vandalism,
careless, unthinking.

My eyes asked the question.
“You never came,” she said.
“Not once in fifteen years.
She asked for you every day.
I wrote for over a year.”

Speechless, I stroked the chair.
“You want it,” she said, “don’t you,
as if by right, as if no-one but you
has feelings or memories,
will grieve as deeply as you do.
Take it.”

She left.

Fifteen years of silence pressed me,
held me in an ice cold grip.
I wished that I could cry.


Rennie has been writing since he was eleven. He writes poetry and flash fiction. You can find his poetry on his ello site at:

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