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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 2, June 2018

Patricia Prime
Te Atatu South, Auckland, New Zealand


My mother-in-law’s hair was smoothed back from her forehead, her eyes were closed—almost. Her hand lay motionless on the white sheet. She was doped with morphine. We sat beside her, held her hands in ours and told her we had come a long way by train to visit. Her mind was wandering and, although she didn’t speak to us, she was talking to invisible people. She spoke to her mother and father, brother and sisters (all of whom had passed). She said they were sitting around a table set for a feast. They were waiting for her.

mid-day meal
the vegetable soup
grows cold

One day a month later, I was pushing the pram with the baby I’d had since our visit—a daughter, whom she would have adored. In front of me was a lady with a headscarf knotted around her head, wearing a blue coat like the one my mother-in-law wore. My heart missed a beat as I hurried home. The ‘phone was ringing as I entered the door: my brother-in-law, calling to let me know his mum had just passed away.

early daffodils
her favourite flowers
on the grave



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