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MY GRAN


From what I could see she was a saintly old soul.
Now worn out and tired, time takes its toll.
Her wrinkled smile bears testimony to this fact.
That old withered body, all energy it lacked.


Through her thick glasses I could see her eyes.
Which held many stories without any lies.
Tales of Joy and happiness, losses and pain.
But her health and youth no longer remain.


She moved towards me with a few groans.
It was a formidable task for her weary bones.
She sat down next to me and turned around.
Everyone went quiet there was no sound.


She leaned over and spoke with a gentle voice,
"I'm sorry my child, it wasn't my choice."
with an emotion-filled whisper she went on
about the days of old that had forever gone.


She had always thought about her 'little' boy
and those memories brought on tears of joy.
Her face was beaming with an aura of love
and for a moment she looked at heaven above.


Like a prayer of gratitude or maybe regret?
Her lips began to tremble, she seemed upset,
"I missed you a lot", she said with a sigh
"But I didn't notice the time passing me by.


It seems like yesterday, when I was a youth
and suddenly I am old, that's the honest truth.
I had dreams and ambitions - my whole life to live.
I remember the love my parents would give.


My childhood and youth was of bliss and play
But those innocent times weren't there to stay.
I grew into a young woman, beautiful and pure
and into marriage and love this did naturally lure.


To my family I was a devoted mother and wife.
I loved my children; they were as precious as life.
I still had ambitions and many goals to achieve;
aspirations and desires that I couldn't leave.


My career, friends and family I didn't neglect
as I strived very hard and those goals I met.
I worked sincerely, on effort I didn't skim
but every goal proved to be just a whim.


I celebrated my successes again and again,
new targets kept coming, success to maintain.
A promotion, more money, a big house and car.
Designer clothes, holidays and living like a star.


They just distracted me and occupied my mind
- to my purpose in life, it made me blind.
I am old and feeble - time takes its toll
What had I lived for? What was my goal?


Did I live for other people and not for me?
Maybe for my parents, who are a memory?
Or for my husband who died years ago?
For whom I have only memories to show.


Did I live for my son, whom I rarely see?
He spends his time with his own family.
Or for my daughter who found love abroad?
She seldom phones me on her own accord.


This may sound strange - you might be amused
only thing I'm sure about is that I'm confused!
So many questions are tormenting my mind;
answers to which I can no longer find


Did I squander life? Did I really miss out?
Do we just live and die? What is life about?
I should have reflected, a long time ago
and about my purpose in life, I would know!


I can feel death around me, waiting for the call.
I will certainly die - even the strongest must fall.
In peoples mind I will be a faint memory,
like all those people that came before me.


What happens next? I honestly don't know
The thought of death frightens me though…
My son, I am too old, exhausted and frail
I hope you find answers where I did fail! "


These were the words that she spoke to me.
My loving gran that I did never again see.
I was twenty-five years old when we first met
and those missed years were her big regret.


by Abdur Rahman Shanks

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