The Unravelling Cord

The Unravelling Cord


Stood in the doorway

You welcome me to your home;

Yours, not mine, nor ours, just yours.


In certainty you move your hand

Over places for everything

The lights, the switch, your keys,

The cups;

Yours, not mine, nor ours, just yours.


How ordinary this is,

The two of us sipping coffee,

Laughing, talking amid the

Collection of your new life:

The photo’s, the films, your sofa,

The books;

Yours, not mine, nor ours, just yours.



I hold my pride in you tight

Out of place in the commonplace chat.

You remember how I take my coffee

And I want to say…

But I hold it tight.



Each day you run yourself

Distant from the past now –

Fed yourself.

Clothed yourself.

Worked and loved and all this yet;

Yours, not mine, nor ours, just yours.



In time I’ve come to appreciate

What I cannot reconcile today,

The child and woman I behold like

Oil and water,

Memory shaped and complete before me.



So. A chat about this and that,

My day,

My trip,

What’s new with you?

(I’ll take this warm exchange in lieu of that small hand in mine.)


Time to go.


And then…


A tear, unravelled cord, on your cheek.

I see my child,

My helpless charge again.

Return! Gathered, clutching in,

Embracing the days before,

I draw you close

And, for a moment

All is

Ours, not mine, nor yours, just us.


And I am just Pa, once again.


 © S. Dyer 2011


About Stuart Dyer

Stuart Dyer, Christian Writer and Musician living in West Sussex, England. Works in the hope of producing the worthy novel or solo; giggles at Oliver Hardy, Peter Sellers and Spike Jones; admires Hudson Taylor, Dickens, Salinger, Bill Bailey and Neil Peart; listens from Wagner to Miles with lots of stops in between; dances to motown and aims to achieve balance in all things.
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6 Responses to The Unravelling Cord

  1. Hannah says:

    This made me cry x


  2. This is so lovely painting of parent/child and how it becomes each separates, individuates yet that connexion still there. The repetition of you/yours, ours/us so adeptly used. Thank you for this poem painting of two.


  3. Paul Diss says:

    This one says a lot Stuart, I have been through similar territory and you have said it well.


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