skip to Main Content
Pioneer House, 46 Britannia St, London WC1X 9JH | +44 20 3489-9192

Poem: Memory of Old Age


The Coming of Age 1
The Coming of Age

Memory of old Age

At the Hearth
Worn determined hands
Rolling newspaper –
Tightly, precisely, controlled.
The boy scout of old
Creating the kindling needed
For a fire in your home hearth
To keep your eighty-four-
Year-old bones from cold.

In the kitchen,
Another pair of hands
Liberally, loosely, lightly
Sprinkling the flour,
Before kneading the dough
And after cutting sconey discs,
Deftly placing them in the oven.
A task performed without
Any hint of ceremony.

Twenty years on,
Pulling that same crockery
Down from my kitchen shelf,
I flick on the kettle,
Remember those skilled sets of hands,
Repeating everyday tasks forever.

Helen Vance 

Back To Top