Patrias laudant

From the train
A brief glimpse
A second or two
In flash of love
For the hills and the
Green fields with cattle.
In these few moments
I love my native land.

Welsh, Scots, Russians, French
All have other native lands
Which they love
As they love their mothers.

Sex and shame run through
The centuries and down the generations.

So I shall write about my mother.
The sort of woman she was
And what she thought and felt.
About the time, her time,
Like wartime
Before I was born.
England then.
Her views on
Winston Churchill,
Bertrand Russell,
Jack Profumo.
My father’s achievement in marrying her.
The national decline
These deep currents
I did not understand.
Grandfather understood much.
"She is a good mother" he wrote.

Her French teacher hugged her
When she did well in her exam.
She suffered with shyness and self hatred.
Compared with today, though,
Should we call it innocence?
Niceness, pleasant good will?
Something has vanished.
Female morality.
There are vices of self centeredness,
Not altogether the point.
Instinct, feeling.
Freud was wrong,
There was no Oedipus complex.
Think how before Freud
They understood sex
Before classification of perversion.

A lover of war
A brilliant mind
A man maligned.

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