February 18, 2011

When my mother comes to visit, she brings my dad
and a pack of twelve quilted Andrex toilet tissues,
half a pack of Weetabix and since she has
started cutting down on dairy products,
a carton of rice milk. My mother brings
Lancome samples she got from Boots: white tubes
inside of packages, smaller than match boxes
and a tote bag she got as a free gift:
two purchases or more from Christian Dior –
she saved for the foundation
with her pension and housekeeping.
When I move into my flat, my mother brings me a plant,
she brings me a card: two mice in tiny clothes
‘Good Luck in Your New Home’, when I get my degree
a card from them both, when he leaves the room
a twenty pound note: ‘Don’t tell your dad’.
My mother brings me the mail still coming to their bungalow
letters from a bank, records like an echo, living in the past.
She brings me a jar of thick cut orange marmalade,
bought from the women that lives round the corner,
a cut out coupon from Woman’s Weekly.
I bring my mother a cup of tea: no sugar,
a little milk, a porcelain cup,
with pink roses.

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