Image by Christine Renney

Memories we hold dear

And the memories of a loved one lost

We shall share

Remembering as a child

How she held you close

The heartbeat of mother’s love

Keeping away your fears

The way she kissed your scraped knee

The pain disappearing

The way she wiped away your tears

Bringing a smile to your face

As only a mother can

Even though she is no longer here

We keep her memory alive

Her spirit is with you

Your loving mother still

Memories of her to pass on and share

Henri wrote and dedicated this poem to his spiritual advisor’s family following her death. She had been a wonderful support to Henri and he wanted to commemorate her in the only way he could and he gave the poem to her son as a sign of love and respect for them all.

I would like to share with you that Henri’s poem ‘Song Birds’ was entered into a poetry competition run by the Wing magazine which is published quarterly and includes art works and words from Death Row inmates, and he has won! Thank you for liking and commenting on the poem – he was so happy to know that his words are being read by you.

Christine Renney


  1. The memory of youth and how we are loved and cared for is certainly strong – even if those memories are embellished by willful yet subconscious thinking. Beautiful words and,in the end, perhaps this is all we have to cling onto. Thought-provoking poetry indeed.

  2. Dear Chris thank you for your words which I will share with Henri when I next write to him. His formal education was sparse and subject to many interruptions but he is studying and working hard to achieve the High School Diploma equivalent just now so this encouragement is invaluable.

  3. What a beautiful poem. I’m sorry for the loss of Henri’s mentor. I offer the words of the Master, said at the bedside of a gravely ill young girl,”…she is not dead. She is merely sleeping.”

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