• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 01

At the Bottom of the Wardrobe

Her old handbags contain the documents
I need and many more besides. But I
Don't suppose the registrar and probate
Office will be interested in all
Those old bills for gas consumed in nineteen
Forty nine or telegrams announcing
The deaths of relatives back in the old
Country or the records of her babies'
Height and weight in the first few months of life.

The birth certificate now yellow, creased,
Printed in two languages, inscribed in
Perfect copperplate and worth much more than
The paper it is written on, is placed
Alongside its freshly minted partner.
Cradle to grave. Alpha and omega.
And spanning these two signatures, eighty
Years apart, is my mother's entire life.