In the final stanzas a new optimistic mood is developed.
The speaker clears her mum’s cupboard, removing the unwanted, conventional gifts. She carries them away, describing herself as
weighted down. The traditional gifts have come to represent illness itself. When the daughter takes them away, it is as if she is lifting the burden of her mother’s suffering. It could be seen that the mother has been made to feel ill by her surroundings, by the concerns of hospital staff and visitors. By getting rid of these, her own fears are stripped away. The last line of the stanza describes the daughter’s last action of waving as she leaves. The change of stanza before the mother's response creates a clear break between the illness and her recovery.
After this, the mother is revived. The
high hospital bed remind us of the sombre beginning, but now we see the mother actively waving back. Kay describes her face as
light and radiant as if she has taken on a new life and beauty.
dandelion hours extends this idea of weightlessness, but it also conveys a sense of her fragility. It is as if this renewed vitality is flimsy and easily dispersed. The image suggests fleeting time - it could be that this recovery will be short and limited.
The final lines of the stanza give the setting an ethereal quality.
Her sheets billow and whirl
The word choice lightness, even dancing. Perhaps her sheets are lifted in a breeze like sails - again corresponding with the idea of her sudden freedom.
She is beautiful
This succinct sentence is emphatic - as if the daughter is suddenly seeing her mother in a new light. Lastly, the
empty table cleared of the depressing gifts
is divine. Through the daughter’s actions the ordinary has been elevated to a religious status and the mother has been relieved of the weight of pain and suffering.
While this is indeed positive and optimistic, the reference to
divine does imply a sense of another world. Is Kay looking ahead to the mother's death, portraying her in heaven?
Removing gifts and clearing the table reflect the mother's recovery. But they also suggest the final clearing of a hospital bay after a patient has died.
The last line of the poem stands alone, like the daughter. In it Kay presents us with a positive image of singing.
The daughter now carries the weight of the ‘gifts’. In doing so she has helped to ease the suffering of her mother. Perhaps this encourages the song?
The return to the
orange nostalgia of Lucozade invites the reader to consider the different meanings behind it.
The very idea of Lucozade dulls and weakens the patient, reminding her of illness. Removing it metaphorically gives the mother the lift she needs. It is the daughter’s actions that revive the mother, offering the energy and life that the gift of Lucozade did not provide.