ALL SOULS


Through a windy night, busy with fireworks,
we walk to Hoole community centre –
a Victorian elementary school –
for a friend’s fiftieth. There are songs
of love and heartache and hope. I watch the moon
white-faced move from pane to pane. My mother
and her two sisters were schooled here when the limes
in the yard were straight and slender. (My aunts
were destined for spinsterhood – one via
a married lover from Lockerbie –
my mother widowhood, her Jewish husband
buried in Ibadan). I imagine them
silent at their slates or skipping home
reciting loudly through the cobbled streets.
My dreams are always of departures.

 

 

 

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  1. #1 by John Huddart - November 3rd, 2015 at 22:24

    At last a celebration of Halloween that avoids the current trivialisation. The title is an excellent starting point for the biographical detail, a moving meditation on the importance of one’s beginnings and how important it is to hold on to one’s sense of them to remain human. How that moon’s pale face is integral to the closeness of the memories.

  2. #2 by Hugh Powell - November 3rd, 2015 at 22:27

    The slender limes are also a great detail, mirroring the youth of the three sisters, and their characters in memory.

  3. #3 by Tricia Durdey - December 4th, 2015 at 22:13

    I like this very much. There is a whole world, condensed so beautifully – clear, like a painting.

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