Early morning, Thursday 4th February 1960
We’re alone together.
Mother and I are sitting at the kitchen window.
It’s chilly yet sunny
Ever-stretching blueness in the sky.
A big brightness bathes my world.
My mother says, "I have a surprise for you on your special day."
The thrill of anticipation zings through my young bloodstream.
She goes and fetches it
And presents me with it.
I open it
I can feel her smile at me.
Today is going to be different.
I have no idea it’s just a thought that’s popped into my mind.
Something mysterious but warm and lovely radiates from her, my dear mother.
I stare at the revealed colourful gift I hold in my small hands
It’s a birthday card
I’m excited to see the number 5 emblazoned in bold red on the front.
I have attained half a decade
All these endless seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months
Amounting to just a handful of years
A pinnacle for me
So much have I lived and yet so much to look forward to
from this vantage point of innocence.
We talk and I converse in adult tones as only a new 5-year old knows
We laugh together as we chat and
She takes me on her knee.
She is wearing a turquoise flowery patterned dress
I breathe deeply as I savour her tender maternal smell.
I begin to understand what this enchanting aura is that surrounds us.
Her arms clasped around me as she continues to bestow happiness on me.
I drink in the joy.
The greatest gift a son could ever have on his birthday
His mother’s love,
10.39am 14 November 2013
(First appeared in Red Room, 14 November 2013)