Thursday, 19 January 2017
poetry 2017 / 015
My mother's diaries
rescues from the attic
long years after she died
each one a Crown Dairy diary
bought from the milkman
who left glass bottles at our door.
There was no such thing as semi-skimmed
or virtually fat-free soya substitute
just gold top and blue top
or the crown-capped tall bottle of stera
(the only ones safe from blue tits.)
Crown Dairy diaries had helpful kitchen hints
like the best way to hang pheasants
or how to make aspic from a lamb's head
Remnants of post-war frugality
in an alt.right Britain
where the local bobby knew your name
and gave you back the sixpence you handed in
to his little lost property box.
1973 was the year I turned ten.
I opened the pages hoping for anecdotes
memories about the dogs
the vegetables harvested
and building the cedarwood greenhouse
but all she'd written
in her shaking cursive
were notes about the weather.
Sunny. Hot. Cloudy. Rain.
Frost again. Hail in June.
Stormy. Sunny. Fair. Hot.