I remember her sideboard; three drawers down the middle and a single shelved cupboard either side. That’s where the things kept for best stayed boxed. Half a dozen bone-handled Co-operative Wholesale Society table knives; a two-pronged silver-plated carving fork; six enamelled teaspoons neat in blue velvet - cutlery lived in the top drawer. And below them, gilded cups and saucers you could see through if you dared hold them up to the light. She kept cards with the wedding presents and a tiny horseshoe from the cake for luck. Glassware was dusted once a year then replaced in the left-hand cupboard. Tablecloths and lace mats were stacked to the right. But no-one opened the bottom drawer, the one with the toys that were meant for him that Christmas.
heavier with each passing
The Beak of a Finch
I find him. He’s been there all along, just a little bit jumbled. So, I put him in order, this man made of headstones, photocopied papers, certificates. His childhood is a cloth bound book; an inscription or two; the words of a teacher on folded paper. But he grows into a man whose brother dies on the Big Guns - both of their medals in the same biscuit tin. And later still he takes on a face and plus fours, creased but dandy on Blackpool pier. And my nose is his nose, and my great aunt swears that I speak with his voice.
shared sun —
somewhere I’ve never lived