At the End of the Day – A Poem by Kerry Darbishire

At the End of the Day

The smell of vanilla and honey now gone,
her hands, her skin worn to thinnest cloth
embroidered blue, the one she threw

like a fluttering sky across the evening table,
laughing clear as a vim-scrubbed sink
telling us about her day:

the delivery of pineapple ice-cream, cones
and wafers, sweets for the shop counter
we were allowed to stack, her batch of scones

and cakes all sold to passers-by. And late
after the last walkers had drained their cups
and left her garden of birdsong and river turning gold,

we had her back, back to ourselves.
I was eleven, my brother growing stupid
for girls, my sister already engaged –

those warm evenings before we were swept away
my mother breathing the sweet scent
of stories and rhymes

to carry me to the stars line by line
only to wake to afternoons turning pages
in the stillness of her room.

Kerry Darbishire lives in Cumbria, England where most of her poetry is rooted. She has two poetry collections: A Lift of Wings and Distance Sweet on my Tongue with Indigo Dreams Publishing and a biography, Kay’s Ark with Handstand Press. Her poems appear widely in magazines and anthologies. She has won and been shortlisted in several prizes including Bridport 2017. Kerry is currently working on pamphlets and a third collection. Tweets: Kerry Darbishire (@KerryDarbishire) / Twitter

Banner: Shop on a High Street, U.K. a digital image by Robert Frede Kenter RobertFredeKenter (@frede_kenter) / Twitter

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