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.