The snail trail – autumn and my one and only poem about cancer…

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Snellie is a tribute to Mrs Ellen Nye Chart, known as Nellie who took over as owner and manager of the Theatre Royal in Brighton in 1875. Among other things she invited 1000 inmates of the workhouse to a free pantomime performance.  Now the snails are raising money for Martlets.


Well that advice rang a bell, slow down. enjoy the moment and autumn is approaching,  a time of mists and mellow fruitfulness …

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so I picked the veg on allotment and lingered near the pond where I discovered a dragonfly. Now to spend more time with those I love too.

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Losing loved ones is always hard, the snaiI trail led me to thinking about a cousin that died of cancer several years ago.

‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ was written in the hospital car park on the day she died.

Gwen,  a woman in her fifties so full of life, she had booked ticket to go and see another cousin in California before she discovered she had the illness again. She had had cancer before and survived but this time it was not to be.   But oh how sad and how I loved her vitality and independence. Sadly she did not die in a Hospice.

Don’t Throw Away The Daisies

for Gwen.
Thank you for passing the time with me,
It’s so lonely waiting to die.

Can’t tell you how angry I felt
when you first appeared
with fruit and flowers
wittering on about sun and the seasons?

I wanted to scream at you ‘I’m dying.’
Have you got the colouring book?
One of your slightly better ideas.
Silly really but I love doing them,
reminds me of being little,
using every crayon in the box.
Mother and me at the kitchen table.

Now when you do the flowers,
please don’t throw away the daisies,
although I know they are past their best.

Could you do my nails?
I often had a manicure when I was working,
it seems important that God should see
I’ve tried my hardest.

I love the oils, the scent of lavender
challenging that mournful medical smell.

Hold my hand, I’m feeling so very tired.

Deep rhythms overwhelm me
creeping in on every side.

My eyelids are amazing rainbows,
how very strange.

Let’s say goodbye now – softly –
just in case I slip away.

I think it was Cancer Survival day a few days ago…my cousin did not survive but the last days, weeks and months were so important!


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This entry was posted in Ann's photography, Ann's poems, Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Nature - birds, flowers, sea or country, Photography, Poetry - Creative Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The snail trail – autumn and my one and only poem about cancer…

  1. A beautiful poem, Ann. I will share it with friends who have lost loved ones. Liz

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