Wallpaper

1 October 2015

Nana’s ghosts gnawed through her walls.
Mum and aunts scale bow-legged ladders,

scrape paper, bury leaves of it
in pilling carpet. Autumnal crunch. Mum

makes Nana reinscribe her living room
with colours Grandad never would have

chosen. We scrawl on naked scraps
of palimpsest, in crayon. She cannot

watch; Nana’s propped on her walker
at the sink, fingers itching temples.

She insists we use old tea towels –
save the pristine ones for later.

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