Old Norma loved her Stephen very much
He’d been so loving, sensitive and funny.
But now, amazed, she finds he had the touch
Of Midas. He has left her so much money.
Executors gave her a detailed list
Of shares and bonds, and ISAs, and accounts
In offshore banks, of which the simple gist
Is – she owns cash, in wonderful amounts.
She’d realised, of course, they were not poor.
Their house was small but nice; they ate good food.
Financially, she’d always felt secure,
But she’d no notion how much he’d accrued.
And when two painful years ago his health
Collapsed, he’d told her: ‘Love, you’ll be all right
When I go,’ but he did not hint his wealth
Would be enough to spoil her sleep at night.
She thinks: ‘He was a careful man, yes, even
When we were young, he put stuff by - for me,
And managed it well to see me safe - but Stephen,
Why did you never spend, spend carelessly,
And fill our lives with unexpected thrills?
You never twigged, perhaps, we’re opposites?
You liked those long treks in the Yorkshire hills;
I longed for swanky bedrooms at the Ritz,
But never knew we could afford such things.
I’m not ungrateful for your legacy;
It shows how much you cared, and yet it brings
A sharp awareness it’s too late for me.
I’m far too ancient now to spend with dash
And wild abandon. Darling, here’s the truth.
When I was young, I dreamed of lots of cash.
Now, Stephen, it is you I want. And youth.’
If you have
any thoughts on this poem, George Simmers
would be pleased to hear