Our grannies have packed up and gone away.
They took their biscuit tins and gooseberry jam,
soaked up a life of spills in cardigans,
slid down the backs of armchairs with tea-trays.
They wrapped up china rabbits, wound the clocks,
left their dead husbands’ dark brown rooms untouched,
laid out the porcelain to gather dust,
tied ribbons round the unused envelopes.
They kept their secrets tight as recipes
for oxtail soup and cherry almond cake.
They cleared up lives which others failed to make,
watched purple skin grow thin as dried out leaves.
But there’s our Kath, all smiles, with a cigar,
her lips around the cherry from her drink.
Here’s Mary on her new pink Vespa bike,
then waving from a mountain gondola.
She lifts her ski poles high into the air
her alpine beret spilling golden hair.
First published in Orbis 199 Spring 22