Rosemary

by Chantal

photo - Chantal Powell
photo – Chantal Powell

 

I was not always invisible. There was a time when mummy smoothed my hair and dressed me pretty. Her friends came round.

“She is so beautiful” they said and cried.

She still has pictures of me. She shows them to visitors and says “Remember Rosemary?”

My big sister Eileen could always see me even when others fell over me or pushed me away.

Eileen would find a safe place for me and made sure I had biscuits and cake when she had her tea. She ate them herself but that didn’t matter because I wasn’t hungry.

It’s the thought that counts, I heard my Granny say.

Then Eileen grew older and ignored me too.

If friends came round to play she shut me in the cupboard with toys that had lost their batteries.

It was worse when that Boy was around.

If I tried to push between them she would look right through me to look at him.

Now they are married and live two streets away.

Dad has brought my old cot down from the attic; when he takes it there I am going too.

She will have a baby boy and I want to play with him. I wonder if he will go invisible.

Edna Eglington. From her poetry book “Living Mosaic” – Indigo Dream Press 2008.  http://wwwindigodreampress.co.uk

photo - Chantal Powell

photo - chantal powell

This beautifully sad and touching poem was written by my sister in law’s grandmother. I was especially moved when I heard the true story that was the inspiration behind the poem.

Edna wrote this poem after a friend told her the story about a woman’s still born baby. The baby’s death was at a time when still birth wasn’t really discussed and the woman’s baby was taken away from her immediately as it was felt that was for the best. This mother’s child was buried in a grave without a name, only a number serving as a marker. She had no idea where the baby lay. Years later a friend of hers managed to find the grave for her. Before taking the mother there she cleaned up the grave and planted a rosemary bush there, never realising that all those years ago the mother had named her unseen baby Rosemary.