My Mother

Women

I wonder what you know
of women.
You claim to.

My mother
Had a large bosom
Never showed it
To all and sundry.

The only time
Was when she wore
V – neck, light blue crimplene,
Men would make her smile, she’d
throw her head back in fits
Of laughter my father
never gave.

My Aunt
she wore
Estee Lauder
Powdered her nose
from a gold mirrored
Case – her skin as soft as snow.

She learnt languages with cassettes
studied books, chased my Uncle
out of the kitchen with a tea towel.
Carried a hanky tucked in her sleeve
lace edged with the initials M.

My Aunt and Mother could
weather any storm
Along York high street.
Blue buttoned up
Raincoat – my mother’s
Red and belted.
Would take tea, scones and jam
looking spotless from the rain.
Pour tea from silver pots.
Chatter and stir,
ignore their men
Talk to the children –
Send them to wash hands
And brush their hair
Before tea.

Published by Stella McHugh

Survivor of so many things that happens to women and girls.

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