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The Calendar
Author: Capricorn

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Between her cream Damask
and gaudy gingham cloth
a tattered document is tucked.
'Old Dulais Valley Calendar 1986'
Its black and white prints
are relics of my birthplace.

'Seven Sisters Colliery 1912'
spreads the front cover
My grandfather grafted here,
body blackened with the coal dust.
that scourged his lungs.

The back cover poses a Ladies Choir
smiling widely in their Sunday best
and 1950’s hairdo’s.
A couple of faintly circled faces
shows my mother’s recognition
of her Aunty Hilda and cousin Sue

I peer into the past
skimming the bands and choirs
that represent months of year.
Arriving at November:
'The Dulais Male Voice Choir 1910'
Another face is haloed in ball point.
I squint at the faint word Dad written above
-- this is my grandfather, who died age 52
after the alien ‘C’ invasion attacted
his weary body when I was a child.

I continue my drawer-sorting
engorged by poignant thoughts,
visualising my mother
thumbing through this calendar,
her stumbling mind
confusing past for present.

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