Tony Harrison

(1937 - / Leeds / England)

Long Distance II


Though my mother was already two years dead
Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas,
put hot water bottles her side of the bed
and still went to renew her transport pass.

You couldn't just drop in. You had to phone.
He'd put you off an hour to give him time
to clear away her things and look alone
as though his still raw love were such a crime.

He couldn't risk my blight of disbelief
though sure that very soon he'd hear her key
scrape in the rusted lock and end his grief.
He knew she'd just popped out to get the tea.

I believe life ends with death, and that is all.
You haven't both gone shopping; just the same,
in my new black leather phone book there's your name
and the disconnected number I still call.


Submitted by Scott Dagostino

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
44 person liked.
27 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: shopping, grief, believe, mother, water, alone, death, time, life

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Long Distance II by Tony Harrison )

  • Rookie - 0 Points Josephine Collett (2/10/2012 2:02:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem Tony, speaks so eloquently of the permanence of the ones we love. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie David Coe (1/21/2012 8:01:00 AM)

    To all who read this poem: phone your parents and if you can't tell them you love
    them just let them know you're thinking of them.Believe me, they're a long time dead! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kelly Kel (2/11/2009 12:44:00 PM)

    Beautiful. The ones we lose live on in our hearts ans mind. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Charles M Moore (3/14/2006 7:42:00 PM)

    Beautifuly written Tony, with great warmth and affection.Charlie. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie David Bedford (1/16/2006 10:48:00 AM)

    My brother died 3 years ago, and his wife, my sister-in-law, has been distraught. She has maintained his voice message on their telephone still, which has caused comment among the rest of the family and people who telephone her. This moving poem for the first time made me understand her desperate feelings of bereavement, and how she is clinging on. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
[Hata Bildir]