Mother’s Fixed


My saving’s pot, tobacco jar,

Greek frieze surround, without a lid,

dark corner shelf, unknown to girls,

where I secreted pennies earned,

or sixpences at Christmas time.

As sisters, Dad neared party time

I emptied it, gave some to Mum,

and she would buy the birthday gift,

as I was busy, climbing trees.

As Guy Fawkes loomed - for that her day

and shops displayed their firework stock,

I knew the choice was mine alone

and from the range of rockets, Pains,

feared jumping jacks and Catherine wheels,

the sparklers, stardust, golden rain,

I had to find a simple thing.

No diamond fire or flaming ring,

nor lipstick pick from carmine, pink,

but varnished wood, a hairclip, brooch,

in modest box with ribbon string.

But that year, nineteen sixty four,

scrambling at night for coin store

I tripped, smashed treasure on the floor;

so mother’s prize was tube of glue

to fix that jar, her father’s love,

the one, Greek frieze about the rim.


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