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I asked my Nan to write down her memoirs when she was in her early seventies.    She worked at it for quite a time and produced a single piece of work about brushing her sister’s hair.    It was written in the small well-formed handwriting which she had been taught at school.    I had wanted her to produce hundreds of such pieces which I would edit into a magnificent story of a life worked through the 20th century but she produced no more.    Which was perfect:


                standing in the pre-War bedroom
                              dark with dark-wood furniture
                             dark clothes ready curtains half open
                             dressed with lace and bottles and boxes
                                     for every occasion
                at the dressing table brushing through
                              her elder sister’s hair each brushful gathering
                              streams deep and even shallows spread and even
                              some caught and knotted
                                      hold it apart and brush it through
                              each pull drawing back her forehead
                                      brow held relaxed for a second
                                      ears drawn jaw loosed for a second
                hair decades long reaching down to her calves
                              in the end all pulled through
                                      step back smell of scalp





… part of: nan
20th century & life wormhole: scandal
bedroom & London wormhole: ‘after the war …’
history wormhole: 1959
muse wormhole: I’m sorry but
Nan wormhole: Nan
time wormhole: ‘writing again by …’
windows wormhole: the window