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Poets Corner – Raymond Holt – November 2018

Mother’s Hallway

by Raymond Holt

This is the hallway leading to her front door,
That opened onto a country too often at war.

The stone step had no feelings, but it wanted to cry,
When her children grew up and she kissed them goodbye.

Look at the curtains that kept in the light,
As she hid from the bombers, through the blackout at night.

Now you jump at the sound of those two loud knocks,
Sense the mind of a mother, with her stomach in knots.

Glue your eyes to the pictures staring down at the floor,
Then suffer her frail footsteps towards a message so raw.

And touch these walls that soaked up the feeling,
When she climbed the stairs, to her bed and a ceiling.

Can you smell the roses still greeting us all,
With haunting echoes of her children, in a happier hall?

Once it was carefree, filled with laughter and commotion,
But now it stands like a shrine, dripping with emotion.

Take your time as you leave and pause by the door,
That opened onto a country too often at war.

Raymond Holt
4th October 2007

Raymond always wanted to be a policeman and subsequently joined Surrey Police. During his last 20 years of service he was a Cranleigh village bobby.

Upon retiring on the 20th February 1993 he wrote his first two poems – Sorry (for the way things are today) and Never Said I Was Perfect. They were immediately published in liaison with the Surrey Local Education Authority. Another 18 poems later and his first book was born.

Published by Raymond Holt, a local retired policeman who has lived in the village for 45 years. “All my poems are dedicated to the people of Cranleigh and Middle England and they are written simply about life and death, together with all its emotions and are not written to offend.”

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