Sunday, 8 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 005

Scattered Ash

Smart in my school uniform
I watched the coffin
slide behind the velvet curtain
like a battleship to a watery grave.
Hard to imagine mum was in there,
her diminutive frame no longer making tea
or mincing the leftover roast on a Monday
for casserole or stew, bubbling
on the ancient Aga stove top
as she scooped away the fat from the top
some to keep for dripping,
some to soak the dog's biscuits.
I still do that now,
a little gravy saved for the dogs,
though now it's low fat, low sodium
and entirely vegetarian.
She would have disapproved
but then she would have disapproved of me
being an artist, an atheist,
a writer and fighter.
Onlt the best for her child.
University and marriage, three kids
and a house by the river,
a good job in the bank and an aneurysm at fifty.
I've had a stroke
I wonder if she'd be proud enough
to read my novels.

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