Deadline

by Claire Booker

When all else fails, I turn to St Jude
with an inventory of the desired miracle:

annual statements, consolidated tax vouchers,
certificates of deduction of tax

with (from memory) the ominous addendum
a duplicate statement will not normally be issued.

They’re holed up somewhere in the house
inside a green folder (how hard is that to spot?).

Kneeling in the under-stairs cupboard
I grapple with boxes, tennis rackets, old papers,

my mother’s last walking stick.
Even her waxed shopping bag gets up-ended –

a handkerchief
drops onto my hand like a dove.

It smells of her.