Gin – a poem

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    With thanks to Tommy Randell, who wrote this poignant poem in 2017 in remembrance of his Mum, who died in 1964 when he was just 12 years old.

    Gin

    I take my gin with tonic in
    There’s not much else to add
    Except a slice of lime
    If lemon can’t be had

    My mother used to take it neat
    Her kisses tasted so
    That floral, perfumed breath
    Before she turned to go

    As I put her glass away
    I’d run my tongue around the rim
    Excited by the bitter taste
    The committing of a sin

    Or cleaning out the residue
    With an extended finger
    I’d hold it up beneath my nose
    To let her presence linger

    It is the strongest memory
    She died when I was twelve
    And I hid the half-full bottle
    High on a wardrobe shelf

    Night-times in the lonely dark
    I would bring her back to mind
    And the scent of gin was a longing
    For her to be alive

    Eventually the bottled dried
    And slowly I forgot
    Time and other matters
    Healed up all the hurt

    But gin is still a trigger
    And I never drink it neat
    It is an instant vision
    Of my Mother’s ‘little treat’

    Her perfume, her wedding ring
    Chinking on the glass
    Her footsteps as she walked away
    Her fading carefree laugh

    I take my gin with tonic in
    There’s not much else to add
    Except a slice of lime
    If lemon can’t be had

     

     

    Our dearly-missed Queen Mother was known to enjoy her gin.

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