The Call – poem by Audrey Ardern-Jones

The Call

Lately she’d promised not to paddle in the sea
or ride her bike, instead she stayed inside,
pill packets left in rows on the dressing table.

A stickler for no waste – pulverised left-overs,
stewed teabags squeezed to feed cuttings,
calendar pictures made into thank you cards.

She made collages from dried fish bones, tops
of poppy heads, toothpaste tops shaped
as rocks – green splintered glass as forest trees.

In summer months she’d drive down south;
whole mornings in her Morris Minor, driving
on A roads, B roads, sandwiches and flasks of tea.

She’d sit with grandchildren on her knee
playing games with words in a Collins Graphic
English Dictionary – spelling out the impossible.

I suppose we shouldn’t have been surprised,
a shrill voice enquiring ‘are you next of kin?’
We couldn’t find our map, like us, it was missing.

The Call by Audrey Ardern-Jones was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.