Overview

This is the seventh in a sequence of eight sonnets.

The speaker stands at his mother’s death bed. He is with his father and - we assume - his siblings.

The speaker’s father - described only as “he” – stands over his wife and speaks to her. He reminds her of things they experienced when they were young and going out together.

This makes the speaker and other family members “overjoyed”.

Soon the mother dies, and those in the room give up checking her pulse and accept that she is gone.

The speaker then says that “The space we stood around had been emptied/ Into us to keep”. This suggests that they would keep a part of their mother - perhaps the idea of a soul - in them forever.

At her death “a pure change happened” in the room and to those around her. The grief associated with her death has become something more positive – something the family can keep with them now that she is physically gone.