When you were sewing with your perfect vision what did you stitch?

by Mary Mulholland


If I step back three times,
to my mother’s mother’s mother,
I know only that you could thread a needle
without glasses when you were old,

ah, yes, it is true

that you had two husbands,
one died from a fall when riding,
what happened to the other?

hush, child, things happen

that you had a daughter, Leonilda –
who left her seven children to your care

they were good children

when she took off after her husband died.
Or was murdered. Who killed him, why?

shh
dark times are best forgotten

Of you not even a photo remains,
only a name: Rosalyn,
and I’m not even sure how it’s spelt.

don’t vex yourself

But who were you, where exactly
did the family come from, and why

quell your interest

did you move to Guyana with its warm rain
and sea Demerara brown, as if filled with turbulence?

quiet!
at least you can move forward
untroubled by hardship

and who decided to make the family British?
What happened to the family annals?

such things do not concern you
be grateful we removed the past