Gin – a poem

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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