by Caroline Whalley
Yep, sadly Mum died when we were young But not too soon to pass on teachings Grown from Caithness tundra alongside five siblings. Subsistence crofting and handcrafted knitting Sunday was strange, with a strong sense of nothing Not part of the week, dissimilar feelings To Tuesday, Friday or washday Monday For grown-ups relaxing, for children drifting to the BBC, and David Copperfield on TV Monday was washday, gruelling and frantic Laborious work, Goblin tub with a mangle Lino pulled back and silver fish hurtling Across red flags, these carpet sharks tangling With our bare feet and shrieks. Stripped bare in the kitchen, underwear in the tub Fresh liberty bodice felt warm to the touch Dangling, rubber suspenders, held no meaning for us Bodices weren’t boned but had firm cotton strapping Encouraging posture as well as entrapping. On good days straight out and pegged onto the line Or clothes horses, fireguards, dripping with wetness As drying takes days after days of dankness Woollen cardigans, under rugs within layers of The Mirror Stretched, as if crucified out on their biers Dinner had to be easy I remember quite clearly
Day 6, of what will be a ‘one a day’ poem. By the end of April 2021, 30 poems will create a series written throughout the month of April 2021. Each poem covers a fragment, a snippet taken consecutively throughout a day.