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Kate White: a poem

Now I See

In the pattern of my mother's dress,

polyester pinks and greys entwined

with trees and hidden woodland nymphs,

unseen by her until, sitting on her knee above

the half-moon rug and honeycomb fire,

I showed her. "So there are", she said.

And, in a small wooden frame over

my bed, a photo of blossom against the sky,

but, in the shadow of the blooms,

I could make out a face, a man

cackling, who made me look away

and hide in my pillow.

The cylinder on my brother's desk,

my sister-in-law assumed,

was a new whisky. "No", he said,

"they're my mother's ashes."

The carton was printed with a bluebell wood

in which no secret figures hid

and we found nothing unexpected

when we stood beneath the trees,

near where the swing and strawberry bed

had been, and emptied it.

Kate White's poetry has most recently appeared in the Christmas issue of The Spectator and her pamphlet, The Old Madness, won the Poetry School/Pighog Press Prize and was a Poetry Book Society Choice in 2014.

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