After Lucozade by Jackie Kay

Margaret is getting used to the too small 
new living room downstairs with its too small 
telly. The big poof might be too big but 
it’s come downstairs to rest her fat ankles. 

Nobody seems to think fat ankles are
an emergency she says and we laugh,
acknowledging they’re not, and they so are.
Behind the door sad white lilies rot. 

I know she wants to make the most of them 
but it feels like tempting fate, and I’m scared 
enough already. I hoik the flowers, 
take them outside as an offering to

the gods of the brown bin. Through the window 
I see Margaret dropped her smile as I 
dropped her lilies in the bin. I pretend
not to see. I can put my face on too.

Next time I come I’ll bring flowers that look
coloured in, ridiculous carnations
in shocking blue stripes. If it’s got to be
an effort, then we’ll be going all in.

Image courtesy of Serafima Lazarenko

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