In a bedside table drawer rest two gold bangles,
one, my grandmother’s, the other, my great aunt’s
both given by my mother to me.
Circles of affection, dented by longevity,
each is secured by a gold lace safety chain.

In a modern gold-gilt frame
the bangles rest on the girls’ wrists, just visible.
My grandmother looks out beyond her family
My great aunt wears the only pocket watch.
She stands very straight next to her father.

My family is marking a milestone, a shining perhaps,
twenty five years of their parents’ union,
plated with thrift and endeavour, and lustrous in the raising
of six offspring who survived, and the wee one in his grave.
Touch that space beside his mother where he is missed.

– Maggie Mackay

© 2016, poem, Maggie Mackay, All rights reserved

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