Her Sunday Prize

Her Sunday Prize

To pass a moment's thumb-flick look
a dogeared book
picked from the dust of bottom shelf:
its pictured prose still bright with fatty ink ...

Surly, I first saw this forgotten wealth of words
whilst still an unspelt child, who'd think
the passing chime of 'lion-clock mere windrift.;
whose mind flew wayward as the wheeling race
when starlings flock.

Yes, a Sunday gift for good intent was treasured stock
to mother's mother when she posed a frail bloom girl ...
Her likeness there, meek melancholy, a fragile face
full framed by tong-tight curl ...

A spotless, Church-day virgin calm cased in rainbow pearl.

I only knew her closing span
with rheumy, notted-knuckle hand
and shufflig slippered feet ...
though no less sweet than that
young face in camera eye.

Remember how in shrunken state she lie
and how her shadow for a time stole by.

So unlooked these thirty years
and now a presence close as self
brought by this simple tract
picked from that shelf.