Runcible Spoon

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         Grandmother’s footsteps


Two girls in spotted dresses,

brown hair shingled.


Look at our photos, Gran said,

we could be twins. Loose dentures

slapped wet. You’ve got my eyes.


On holidays I’d have to waltz

with her, the dance-floor spangled

by a mirrorball. My first job was

lugging boxes in the soap works.


Her hair blue-rinsed, set crisp,

my cheeks pink with shame,

I left school at twelve.


She smelled of Pond’s cold cream.

No point in university.

You could be a secretary.


Her powdery skin, marcasite ring

and plastic pearls. I was clever,

like you. Her navy dress,

her rhinestone brooch.


You take after me.

Brown spots on our hands,

our varicose veins.

The stout prow of our breasts.