by Tina Cole
Today I bought white lilies
for women who were never given flowers,
their images collage in a flurry
like autumn leaf litter surprised by a sudden gust.
My maiden aunts,
the last disciples of crimplene,
who passed tepid Ovaltine days
under the whine of the Home Service
and woke to absence in single beds
in a house filled with lavender polished quiet.
I wondered if they ever smoked unfiltered,
red lipped and bottle blonded did they dodgem bump
the tongues of neighbours, thread grey lives
with skeins of gossip, risk all on G.I. promises?
But what pleases me most
is the fickle nature of memory
and voluntary turning of the tap,
how we can customise the past
and remember the brightest colours.
* * * * *
Tina Cole is a retired education consultant who lives in rural Herefordshire. She delights in poetry that speaks about relationships and how people manage their inner worlds. Her collection – I Almost Knew You – published in 2015 deliberately brings those relationships into view. Other poems have been published in U.K. magazines and journals such as, (Mslexia, Aesthetica & Decanto), one in The Guardian newspaper and in several recent anthologies. In 2018 she won third place in the Army – Writing Armistice National Competition and second place in the Canterbury Poet of the Year. She is the organiser of the Children’s Poetry Competition; poetryintenbury.org.