published in The
North, 38, ISSN 0269-9885;
collection Unsafe Monuments, 2006,
Press, ISBN 978-1-904852-13-1
Ten Places Where I See My Mother
Mondays, in the kitchen,
her arms all suds.
peer through steam but she’s disappeared
I see her in the yard, pegging sheets.
she’ll be upstairs, taking off her wet blue dress
coming out of the bathroom saying,
use too much paper. We’re quite low.
the dark she’s in different places:
end of my bed, the space by the wardrobe,
up my clothes.
yellow light runs in ribbons
her head to her heels.
footprints glow for ages after she’s gone.
she’s in the greenhouse
gloves that are far too big
the old straw hat.
tap on the glass but she looks right through me.
wish she’d smile, come close,
back the fringe from my forehead.
I see her under the earth,
asleep, her mouth slightly open,
she comes to when I start arranging flowers.
home in the car, she sits beside me
the cellophane to use again,
the string round her little finger.