Grandma Potts Had an Unmarked Grave

Every week, Nanna and I would board a green
Corpy bus for the ride to Allerton Cemetery.
We’d get off in Garston by the swimming baths.
She held my hand as we walked to the graveyard.

We insert the posy of anemones in the jam jar
on the grassy grave of the lady I never knew.
Hubby died in a fall down the ship’s ladder,
her daughters sent to the seamen’s orphanage.

Black wooden box in the cupboard with Nanna’s
worldly possessions: “Sara Elizabeth Potts”
stenciled in white on the side. Tomorrow’s
aunts’ day—we’ll visit Nanna’s sisters,

two more bus journeys, a green Crossville bus,
a red Ribble bus. I count the red motor cars,
our allies in the make-believe war I fight.
A cold ham salad waits for us at Auntie Mary’s.

Appeared in Triplopia, Sense and Nonsense Issue, July 2003