Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ma and Me

Cinnamon and burnt orange;
that was the limited edition flavoured sugar
Whittards had produced that autumn.
I remember you in
dressing gowns,
and me in my work clothes: gingham skirts and winter jumpers.
It was my gap year - spent working in a gift shop,
and you were off work, post-hospital, pre-back to normal.
You say it is one of your happiest times,
and it was for me too.
We would sit, in the dining room,
the window view all brackish spider-twigs and
gusts of cold.
We would drink hot coffees,
flavoured with the cinnamon and burnt orange sugar,
watching films and calling Gran in the afternoons.
I would go with her to the eye clinic on Tuesdays,
and we would dine in our weekly routine
(lentil soup and pots of tea in Cafe Pulse),
before I'd come back home to you.
I introduced you to You've Got Mail.
I would tell you stories of boring gift shop afternoons;
broken mermaid ornaments and
trying managers and
women who would come in and pick up dolphin wind chimes and say
Ooh that's just Jean that is, she's got everything dolphins.
I would walk home the sea way;
blustery and great,
and come home to you in dressing gowns
and me in my work clothes: gingham skirts and winter jumpers,
and the smell of cinnamon and burnt orange.