Sunday, 28 September 2014


A fortnight ago, my second eldest son, at 17, left home for a course in blacksmithing at a small college in rural Herefordshire. I worried for a long while beforehand, feeling he was too young and vulnerable yet, and that I wasn’t ready for him to leave home, even if he felt he was. On the day he left, although I put on a cheery face, the moment after he went out of the door I crumpled and cried. It felt like a massive loss – my first child to leave home. Knowing how anxious I was, my eldest son showed me how I could track on a map exactly where Daniel’s phone was, so, while he made the long journey down South with his father, I hunched at the computer and ‘stalked’ him virtually, this poem came from it:

Your brother had to sign me in
I didn't know how to instruct this map
so I just sat refresh refresh refresh
and watched you crawl and veer past Birmingham
saw you stop for half an hour at Stourport
to have a wee and brews I thought
then something went awry, I pressed ‘back’
or something and could not click off from
'Connor's Macbook Air'
(which was offline)
I knew that anyway
it was above my head and charging in his room
so that I didn't catch the moment you arrived
felt tugs from somewhere in my gut.
'I got here safe my room is nice'
No kiss

He’s fine by the way, apart from a few minor burns and a blister and thoroughly enjoying the course :D
Rachel McGladdery