Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Kerry Darbishire


After exchanging and opening our presents
we drank tea while Mum withdrew to her bedroom.
Half an hour later she emerged - a film star entrance
bejewelled in her Frank Usher blouse.

She wore it every Christmas Day as far as I remember.
Five large flowers – two at the neck three at the front hem
hand-sewn in silver and pink glass beads - frozen rivers
over fine black silk - a dark landscape

draping her moon-pale décolleté.  Not my style
but how it cast her demeanour from a lonely tea by the fire
to dinner at the Ritz.  We applauded, sighed with admiration
which she received like an Oscar before gliding

into the kitchen - sherry in hand - line-perfect
as she served roast potatoes and gracefully handed round
a jug of gravy over the glass swan filled with dates -
her mother’s centrepiece.

The blouse now hangs - winterly
on the just in case side of my wardrobe,
waiting in the wings.  I couldn’t stuff it in a bin bag,
the warmth of her perfume, all of us together.

Kerry Darbishires poems have appeared in several magazines. She has been shortlisted in The Charles Causley, Mslexia, Ver Poets; 2nd prize in Maryport Litfest and 1st in the Grey Hen Competition 2015. Her first collection A Lift of Wings was published in 2014 by Indigo Dreams. She lives under a Cumbrian hillside.



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