Great Aunt Ellen


Tea time and I’m sat down
watching the spikes of grey hair
bobbing about above
the bright shout of an apron

I’ve rattled out my day
with the plates and cups
the table laid to her chorus
of ‘never’ and ‘och away’,

I’m shooed out doors
to sit on the back step
‘away with your blether
tell it to the Ancestors’.

They live In the hedge jostled
between kitchen and coal bunker
my day does not interest them
there’s not whisper or rustle

about the fact Millie is a tongue split
and no longer my best friend.
Nor about my gold star for reading
or any of the rest of it

but there’s a stir of interest in the privet
when Aunt Ellen comes out
and we go down the cinder path,
me with a bowl for the tomatoes
and her with a knife for the lettuce.


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