After he died, Nan shawled herself in sorrow,
knitted a new bed to lie on and wallowed
in the sudden attention of careless sons.
She blanketed her loss in crocheted blue,
wrapped it in melancholy, demanded homage.

She swore there would be no more
thick-cut marmalade, no rhubarb tarts
no coffee kisses. Instead
she took her bible into bed with her
and called our mother ‘Ruth’.

She propped herself with homilies and pillows,
took out her dentures and replaced them
with the toothless stare of widowhood
put upon, misunderstood. Adopted the role
of woman who has been bereaved.

After she died, we danced among discarded
mothballs, refused to celebrate a life led badly
threw out the boxes of unwanted soap,
opened windows, closed the bible.
Turned to a new page in a different book.

Jean Taylor

If you have any comments on this poem,  Jean Taylor  would be pleased to hear from you.