THE TRUNK

We walk through the park
My sister and I
Past the stagnant pond
Where it’s said
Small children have drowned

But we have been warned
Told to go straight there
Not to talk to strangers
Not to dawdle
And not to tear our clothes

We reach up for the bell
And hear our grandmother
Creaking down the stairs
Her apron on
And her grey hair in a roll

It’s dark and oppressive inside
Brown carpet on the stairs
Brown lino in the kitchen
And a couple of greasy chairs
One without a seat

There’s a smell of lamb chops
And boiled vegetables
We long for some air
But instead beg to be allowed
In the Front Room

It’s cold and clean and dark
The curtains always drawn
But the magnet
In the bay window
Is the Trunk

Inside are the remnants
Of our grandmother’s life
Bolts of material
Silk and crepe in unfashionable colours
Skeins of thread and tins of buttons

We may play with these
For as long as we like
As long as we
Put everything back

Return to Edith Mead.