Louise Mathias

(Hackney, London)

Sometimes she'd look at me, anew. I wanted to say,
you're dying, don't you know? Stroke

a silky ribbon ‘til it curls. It is tender

on occasion, to be firm. I thought of a tabby,
dragging her kittens by the scruff.

The twinkling St. Christopher
placed in the palm of my hand. Or I thought

of the verb "to long" for far too long. Dark plaintiff,
rapping his fingers at your door.

If my father loved her, all the evidence is gone.
Subsequent wife

shreds photos, her own heart. Patron Saint
of Hailstorms, Travelers, Spurn.



Saint Christopher isn't really the Patron Saint of "spurn", though he is the patron saint of hailstorms, travelers, and "lorry drivers". Somehow that didn't have the same ring to it.