Untying the apron strings
You never had time for games,
there was always something to be done:
Dad’s shirts to starch, more dust to find.
Each morning you slipped your bibbed apron
over your head, tied it around your waist.
‘Lots to do must get on,’ you said.
Even on Christmas Day you didn’t stop to play,
but disappeared into the kitchen.
That room was your castle, your apron
a flowery-frilled shield to rebuff all fun.
I remember once dancing to a record
in the lounge, you came in to light the fire.
I tugged at your apron. ‘Dance with me, Mum.’
‘I’ve no time for nonsense,’ you said
and brushed me away like something
that needed tidying.
Yesterday, clearing your house
I found your apron in a drawer,
neatly pressed and folded,
the flower-sprigged pattern now faded
and stained with years of chores.
Holding an apron string in each hand
I began to dance round and round
to a song in my head,
while your ‘no nonsense’ words,
now glittering dust, played games with the wind.
Copyright Shirley Anne Cook 2018