Stanzas nine to twelve

In stanza nine Kay declares that she feels like a home-alone mother. She has switched places with her son - become like a child wearing his large black slippers - just like children play grown ups by trying on their parents shoes and clothes.

She returns to his bedroom and contemplates its emptiness - symbolising her disappointment. She then stares at his photographs:

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you on top of the world, arms outstretched

It is as if she is there, imagining sharing the experience with her son. He opens his arms, bringing her into his journey and suddenly she is there amidst the Blue sky, white snow. Both these expressions convey the idea of a blank canvas, a fresh world he is discovering.

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My heart soars like the birds in your bright blue skies

This simile compares her sudden elation to ‘birds’ ascending into the sky. It suggests like her son she is being liberated from the restrictive, encompassing need to be together that she has been absorbed in.

Now she is released from this, her love glows like the sunrise over the lost city. She has become bound up with the landscape he is travelling through. Her love reaches across continents just like the sunlight.

Despite the distance, the ‘gap’ between them, he still brings her happiness. It could be that her unstinting love has given him the courage to travel so far from her. This thought comforts the poet as she sings jazz music thath recalls some of her early feelings of sadness.

The minor sentences are joyful however, A tisket. A tasket. returning us to the nursery once again. Her little boy is now out in the big wide world. The phrase suggests space and the potential for new experiences both good and bad. Kay now seems happy to accept the situation.

The final line, standing on its own, recalls the Moses basket of line one. The short sounds in flip and skip emphasise the brevity of Matthew’s childhood and how quickly he has grown up. Once he was dreaming and now he is out there ‘living’, leaving his mother behind to imagine his adventures.

The rhyme between tasket and basket adds a sense of finality and inevitability to the circumstance: This is something all mothers must go through at some point.