• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 01

Divided – by a common language

We are stuffing black bin bags, destined for a charity shop.
In goes her houndstooth jacket – small, revered, nipped-in,
the red paisley skirt, cable twinset, cobalt suit – pleated,
that emerald brocade – so unsuitable for a son's wedding,
white lace gloves, kitten heels caked with Meltonian.

From the back of the wardrobe, his suit – mothballed,
described as lovat but more akin to cowpat, mustard
cardigan with buttons like mini footballs – badly scuffed
that cousin Wilbur from Ohio insists are li’l soccer balls,
handfuls of ties, pairs of braces Wilbur says are suspenders.

In the top drawer, a round box of stiff collars, a small case
for studs. Lower down, his huge grey underpants,
her tiny lavender suspenders Paige claims is a garter belt.
And in the chest, a heart-shaped box that my US cousins
and I hesitate to look into. Our loss, the thrift store’s gain.