The Song of a Motherless Son

Georgie – My Mum – Died October 3rd 2006

I went to Assisi to recall my mother

one year after her lonely cross,

a need to evade sorrow’s smother

one year after my searing loss.

Carrying grief in my unwashed hair,

I came at night to the Umbrian plain.

The city of peace was glowing there,

a gleam of mercy through a squall of pain.

I trod the steps of Francis’s feet

and only went where I was led.

To open my soul I did not eat

but trudged uphill with an aching head.

There I found his weathered figure,

a bronze homage to holy rest,

body unfolded in tranquil stature

gazing into the summoning west.

I carried a box of silver sorrow,

the cremation of her time-worn days;

around his head an ashy halo

a symbol of my dismal haze.

The shock of loss was still my psalm,

as I had reached the end of tether;

an open window the evening’s balm

as I laid myself on a bed of weather.

So I said to myself if I should wake;

the saint’s day mass I would take.

Dawn’s soft dimness greeted my feet

in the narrow pink-stoned street.

Spidery movement on pavement cobble

bending me low to broken hobble.

Glancing upward I found its source:

a white shone feather’s downward course.

I raised and opened my left hand;

it landed like water on hard baked sand.

I felt like one who is singled out,

chosen as broken, a man of doubt.

I curled my hand around its grace;

it touched my soul like a mother’s face.

In the darkened crypt of the barefoot saint

I knelt as tears washed away constraint.

The trauma died as they broke the bread,

and wine woke a mother to stand in her stead.

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