Twas the first day of autumn – on a Friday it came,
The call to say that nothing would ever be the same.
Already the sky was a dark sombre grey,
There was no moon rising over Walpole Bay.
Once they had lives, young spirits by the sea,
They danced in the ballrooms in true harmony.
Now they stay in their rooms – they can lay there all day,
They don’t see the moon at the top of the bay.
Can’t get out of my chair – no, don’t wash my hair,
Independence retracted – it’s so hard to bear.
I was very much in love; have the pictures of the day,
Hand in hand neath the moonlight at Walpole Bay.
Memories of the war, so vivid – so real,
But nothing much momentary; the magpies – they steal.
Imaginary phone calls, so much news to convey,
“Well I heard that the moon had just run away!”
Dementia is cloying, destroying with pain,
Its tentacles clawing the heart of the brain.
Creeping and crawling, surreptitious its way,
Darkening the moon over every damn bay.
Trying to escape – when I have, let me in,
I wonder what lives in the end we’d begin.
But once I was the sharpest – yes, back in the day,
When the moon was so vibrant at Walpole Bay.
So tell me what is not and what is surreal,
And what do you expect, how am I s’posed to feel?
Locked in my mind with my body as hay,
And the olde moon cryin’ at the crest of the bay.
And the constant beep beeping, screams and the wails,
This is what happens when the system fails…
We didn’t know why, but you begged us to stay,
With the moon turning red, sinking in to the bay.
The trickster is time, and you prophesized your fate,
To us in denial – who forever would wait.
But the kindness is letting go, what words left to say?
Cept “the full moon is shimmering on the waves of the bay.”
Black and white photographs – how perfect they seemed,
In the prime of their lifetimes, their hopes and their dreams.
When picnics and laughter and love held the sway,
And the moon did a tango at Walpole Bay.
Oh how I wish – we’d go back there and sing,
When life was much simpler and you still had your rings.
Remember the prom and the warm golden rays?
When at sunset the moonrise, lit up ALL the bays!
The history of that town, well it came and it passed,
And you took the summer – we knew it couldn’t last.
We loved you back then and we love you today,
And the moon still he quivers in that magical way.
I saw you last night – you were speaking to me,
A beautiful angel, liberated and free.
Knew it was a miracle, you said “Don’t worry, OK?”
“The moon’s glowing high in the sky ‘bove the bay.”
They say nothing’s forever, but on the timeline you stand,
One magnificent star with your man and the band.
Like a flower so radiant, always beautiful you’ll stay,
As the moon shines again over Walpole Bay.
by Jayl De Lara - November 2019
In memory of Betty Irene Glass (née Huxtable) – ‘Mum’ 1927 - 2019