News of mother’s death reached her
like the last sensation of a local Marilyn.
Slipping into the back pew on the first bars
of ‘The lord is my shepherd’,
she left as the curtains touched.
Then I receive her letter’s extended hand.
So on chintz sofa holding china cups,
I listen to her daughters’ dazzling Dallas lives,
she skim reads my news like a local paper,
then riffs on her past until suddenly the electric shock
of her casual your mother…
Thirty years before, when uncle unilaterally decided
he’d married the wrong sister,
civil war in my family; grandmother and aunt
bombarding mum’s friends with telephone salvos
until I don’t want to be involved any more ,
despite mother’s boozy begging calls.
So I am on a bed of nails
as she fondly recounts how mother would nurse
their Chihuahua on her lap all afternoon,
and when she departed,
the little dog smelt foppishly of Chanel no 5 .
If you have any comments on this poem, Fiona Sinclair would be
pleased to hear from you.