Not Yet My Mother

Yesterday I found a photo
of you at seventeen,
holding a horse and smiling,
not yet my mother.

The tight riding hat hid your hair,
and your legs were still the long shins of a boy's.
You held the horse by the halter,
your hand a fist under its huge jaw.

The blown trees were still in the background
and the sky was grained by the old film stock,
but what caught me was your face,
which was mine.

And I thought, just for a second, that you were me.
But then I saw the woman's jacket,
nipped at the waist, the ballooned jodhpurs,
and of course the date, scratched in the corner.

All of which told me again,
that this was you at seventeen, holding a horse
and smiling, not yet my mother,
although I was clearly already your child.


from The Blue Book (Seren, 2000), copyright © Owen Sheers 2000, used by permission of the author

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1Feeling the Catch

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2Old Horse, New Tricks

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3Unfinished Business

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4Lambing

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5Harvest

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6Not Yet My Mother

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7My Grandfather's Garden

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8World Maps

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9Night Bus

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10The Wedding

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11May Ball

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12Mametz Wood

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13The Farrier

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14Inheritance

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15Marking Time

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16Keyways

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17Border Country

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18Trees

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19Late Spring

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20Swallows

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21On Going

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22Y Gaer (The Hill Fort)

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23The Hill Fort (Y Gaer)

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24Song

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25Liable to Floods

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26Under the Superstition Mountains

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27Service

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28The Wake

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29The Light Fell

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