Yesterday, an hour or three to kill –
browsing in a retro shop near Camden Lock,
found a pair of red stilettos, circa 1955,
still in their box.
Took me back a few years, more than I care
to remember. There was I, prancing round the room
in my mother’s high-heeled shoes, not to mention
her makeup – lipstick, powder, a spot or two of rouge.
And then I saw it, on a shelf by the counter –
a perfume bottle, unmistakeably blue. ‘Evening in Paris’
it was called. Removed the stopper, held it to my nose.
I could just see her – dressed up to the nines, a dab
behind each ear before she kissed me ‘Goodbye’, said
she’d wouldn’t be long, not to answer the door to anyone.
If I needed anything, to go next door to Auntie Jean.
I used to ask her where she went most every night.
“To see a man about a dog,” was always her reply.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t miss her …
At least no more now than then.