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published in The North, 38, ISSN 0269-9885;

in collection Unsafe Monuments, 2006,

Arrowhead Press,  ISBN 978-1-904852-13-1


Ten Places Where I See My Mother


Mondays, in the kitchen, her arms all suds.

I peer through steam but she’s disappeared

till I see her in the yard, pegging sheets.

Later she’ll be upstairs, taking off her wet blue dress

or coming out of the bathroom saying,

Don’t use too much paper. We’re quite low.


In the dark she’s in different places:

the end of my bed, the space by the wardrobe,

picking up my clothes.

Fuzzy yellow light runs in ribbons

from her head to her heels.

Her footprints glow for ages after she’s gone.


Today she’s in the greenhouse

wearing gloves that are far too big

and the old straw hat.

I tap on the glass but she looks right through me.

I wish she’d smile, come close,

stroke back the fringe from my forehead.


Sundays, I see her under the earth,

peacefully asleep, her mouth slightly open,

but she comes to when I start arranging flowers.

Going home in the car, she sits beside me

folding the cellophane to use again,

winding the string round her little finger.


Jennifer Copley


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poetry favourites:
a poem and a pint
Martin Copley
Arrowhead Press
the dead bike
The Rialto
Seam Magazine
The North

and in the shop:
"Unsafe Monuments"
"House by the Sea,
Arrowhead Press


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