It has taken twelve months,
but my mother has now turned her living room into a shirt rack.
They are all freshly washed and ironed
and hanging in rows.
Now anyone who comes to the house gets invited to choose from the rack
and take what they would like.
She grew up in the war, you see.
So nothing ever goes to waste.
My sister informs me that she has already taken the best of the formal shirts
for her pool of grandchildren.
But I recognise some of the remaining colours and textures
and my father seeming somehow still inside them.
That worn out laissez-faire as he drifted from one mildly disappointing amusement to another,
and my head resting on his chest and the warm coming from the kind animal of his soft body.