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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.

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