Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

Poem 1

by Jill Neville

The brown paper package was identifiable by it’s cremation number –111789. 
111789 – was that the clue – did that number have a meaning?

She sat in front of the mirror –
The one on the dressing table which her mother had sat in front of
Countless times and combed her fine, silver hair
Wondering how she should now live her life.

She lifted the parcel from the drawer where she had pushed it on her mother’s return
Lifted it to smell, to breathe in any final clues - traces of the conversations they hadn’t had
And as she rocked each end up and down it made a noise.

She repeated the movement, fascinated by the sound which was being created,
Her mother moving up and down, up and down
Sounding like those toys - tubes filled with bits which slid with the movement and whooshed and tinkled –

Mother going whoosh and tinkle –

A tantalising whisper which gave no clues

And not knowing how to feel about that.


Added: 29.04.2009