My mother hums


my mum’s

not talking

she hums

no tune, no words

just tum-ti-tums,

she’d say it’s just like

twiddling thumbs

or maybe idly

picking crumbs,

a careless thing one does

when thought succumbs,

no meaning in those



But I would say

my mother hums

to drown out how

the silence thrums

and not hear how

her heartbeat drums

and not think how

the darkness comes;

I think for her,

it numbs.


I find that

gin or rum’s

a better bet for that,

but my mum’s

sticking with what works for her:

she hums

she hums

she hums.