Sarah Law

 

My mother worries at a clump of trinkets

 

which, rolling through the years, has gathered weight – 

she asks me whether I can pull some threads out

 

and separate a necklace, or a brooch,

perhaps unsnag a pendant from a daytrip

 

that’s mixed up in her mind with something else.

I take the heavy melange of mementos,

 

and manage, with my fingernails, to tease

a pair of earrings out, a silver bracelet:

 

I think I recognise it as a favourite – when

she took her daytime look more solemnly,

 

and kept her hair coiffured, and jackets tidy,

used pricey makeup and a high-class crème.

 

We laugh a little as I ease the catches – 

and loosen a few of the chains’ dull knots;

 

I cannot make much headway, if I’m honest.

The gnarled-up pathways shrink into their host.