Always Rosemary – a poem for my mother in law

This poem is written for and dedicated to my mother in law, Rosemary, who died in early May of 2015. Rosemary had Alzheimer’s, and the purpose of this poem is to celebrate and to admire the person – I have been taught (by example) ; see the person, not the age or this illness. Rosemary was a beautiful woman and I am glad to have known her.

Always  Rosemary

Sleeping now.

May your blanket be woven of spring time threads,

and flamespun from the azalea outside your window,

wild garlic fattening the woodland paths,

your fields, bested by bluebells,

Welsh oak, wild cherry, the rising sound

of saplings, keening in the breeze.

The crushed camelia heads that cushion the verge

below the trees

that you loved to see

as we were Fishguard, ferry bound.

Red petals gracing too, the secret garden,

where, a few snatched weeks ago,

we picked for you

Derek’s daffodils,

lingering strong and plump,

golden on your windowsill.

Sea thrift and campion binding the two Heads,

Dinas and Morfa dipping Westwards,

unwittingly majestic and yet, now, forlorn.

No longer held in your view.

Yet you loved to look out over these landmarks,

contemplating, ruminating,

reflecting perhaps,

on kinder, gentler days,

as you stared across the Bay

sometime sea shimmered,

at others, murk misted


“Can’t see Dinas Head’, you’d say.

But cliffs and headlands prevail,

rock steady,

as you well knew,

through older age and illness,

stoically surviving,

cup of tea reviving,

discomfort, trauma,

bravely borne.

Ages slipped by, unwittingly,

as such they do,

and gradually,

and I am sure,


you gathered your very self in,

breathed deep,


Harder to distinguish then

your hopes, your fears,

the altered state

the change of mind.

Some things are, it seems,

beyond the ken

of us, the ones to remain behind.

Left, bereft,

to nurse your memory,

there must be laughter,

there will be tears.

But for all that changed,

across these widowed years,

you remained

a smile,

a crossword clue determined

a flash of will.

And of this I am,

ever certain,

always Rosemary,


it might seem to be


yet fixed,

blossoming still.

Resting now,

sure enough and

ready to greet us


behind the ethereal, floating curtain.

Marc Mordey

May 2015anniversary pictures 022

5 Comments on “Always Rosemary – a poem for my mother in law”

  1. helen carey says:

    This made me cry yet again. I love it, and she would have been be so proud.


  2. Maria says:

    really lovely, she was such a sweet lady


  3. June R Mordey says:

    I too knew her well, in the last 14 years of her life,you have captured her indomitable spirit,as I write I can see her smile which lit up her face and made one feel warm inside,as I think of her often and am reminded of all the things that drew one to her,I too shed selfish tears for my loss,but give thanks for sharing the Golden years,I will read this poem often and be comforted.
    Thank you Marc.


  4. Dear Marc, this is a lovely poem, a wreath of flowers with all the fine detail that a sensitive eye takes from a landscape. Rosemary is indivisible from that special place overlooking the sea; a peaceful, homely corner that peered out onto the vast unknown. Perhaps she is in two places now, still at home but somewhere in the beyond, too. It is a grand tribute to a person when a son or daughter-in-law writes movingly and lovingly. There is no obligation to love, and so all the more telling when love grows.


  5. stew1e says:

    A beautiful poem, Marc. A fitting memorial.


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