My Nan needs a new dress.
She’s going to lunch with the Queen.
My Mum seems to be dying.
My Nan would be dead but she isn’t
And she needs a new hat.
It really makes me laugh.

I’m 28 and I’m writing like a child.
My Nan is 92
And my Mum…

There’s a life in me that’s dying and that tells me
If she leaves there’ll be a ripping out of me of things that are me.

I’ve talked to my Nan
She can talk.
She’s numbed by death,
Vulnerable to hurt
But death has been so much a part of her life.
She takes the pain and puts it away acceptingly
As an invitation to the Queen.

My Mum talks of my childhood.
She asks, “Was I good for you?”
I talk of my childhood
Saying it was so good.
She tells me I was always doing things
and that had made her very happy.
And I’m so glad.

When I was twelve, I would have definitely died.
That photo in a magazine of a parents dead daughter, kept frozen.
It chilled me.

I lived in anticipation of death,
Scared to go to school should something happen to my Mum.
I came home and cried and told her.
She told me she worried a car would hit one of us riding home.
Then I realised that it was love that was driving this, not fear
And that gave relief.

Then I wrote an essay;
Coming home to find my whole family savagely murdered.
It had the teacher quite bewildered.
And it really makes me laugh.

This morning I went to see my Nan.
She couldn’t care less about the Queen
But she’s accepted
And so she’ll go.

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