Thursday 4 December 2014

New poem: Ma

My grandmother left America on a boat for Liverpool

with 3 children she had had there. She left behind

the 2 children she’d had in London. People said

she didn’t say goodbye to them. They were hoeing

in a field, so she waved. One of them she never saw

again. No one knows how she said goodbye to their

father. People said that he told her he’d join her soon.

He never did. When she got back, one of the children

she brought with her, died. I remember her coming

to see us. My father called her ‘Ma’. No one round

our way called their mother, ‘Ma’.

‘I’ve got something for you,’ she said to me.

She put her hand in her bag. It was a shoe horn, made

of metal, painted red. In winter the red shoe horn

was cold.