Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

Poem 2

by Jill Neville

In packing up her mother’s things she is preparing for her own death
Sticking labels on brushes, pots, bags of buttons
Why she kept them, where they are from
So that her daughter does not have the torment of not knowing
Doesn’t have to touch and feel and strive and squeeze the information from
the fibres of the THINGS

Doesn’t have to ask the questions – repeated in a beat that continues in her head
Why did you keep this?
Who is it for?
What does it tell us of you?

Are they important enough  - these things she sticks labels on
To keep for her daughter  - and hers?

How will you feel now if it is disreguarded given to some other person to collect,
To look at for no real reason
To end up in a box labelled NOT NEEDED

Or should it be destroyed – purge the emotion and allow her to continue sticking labels to prepare for her death.

Added: 29.04.2009