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Crawling in the loft today, I found the suitcase. Through a cobweb curtain, beneath a patina of dust It lay. Just where it’s lain for twenty years, full of memories of early days. The suitcase. The rusting lock resisted but eventually succumbed. I tentatively raised the led.. And there, on top, the baby book, pages edged in blue, Lovingly recording every detail as I grew. Birth weight 6 pounds ten. First tooth, first word (real or imagination?) First step, first use of potty? Please Mum, too much information. First inoculation. First day at school. Is that a tear stain on the page? Underneath, a folder full of dreaded school reports; Teachers choosing from a list of typical retorts, Cliché after cliché. Progress satisfactory, written work untidy; English good. In geography he’s lost his way; must try harder, And now a sheaf of cuttings, yellowing as cuttings do. A public record of my passage through Those early days. My parents proudly announce my birth in nineteen- thirty-eight. My coming of age in ‘fifty-nine.. The engagement, the wedding, the first-born son; The second, the third – where did he come from? An afterthought. But here’s a form, in legalese beyond dispute; The parting of the ways is absolute. That wasn’t part of the plan. The story in the suitcase ends just there; There’s no more room for records telling where Life took me next. Somewhere up there, another suitcase houses volume two. But that’s for another day. Today I have too much to do. 1st August 2020 Dusty Old Memories poetry contest Sponsor Constance La France

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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