Edwina Trentham

My Mother Remembers Clothes
 
Can tell me, fifty years later, what she wore
(burgundy velvet, floor length black cape) the night
she met Goebbels, reached up to open a door
 
because she was taller.  Knows the exact cut
of that pale yellow chiffon (on the bias)
made for the garden party where she forgot
 
her long gloves and was forced to borrow.  Still sees
the silken swirl of pink at her knees, the day
she could have dropped those geraniums (she says)
 
right onto Hitler's head from a balcony,
just a week before the ambassador found
my father, the two of them on holiday
 
( Lake Constanz ), warned, "keep going."  Leather bound
books, Queen Anne chairs, Georgian silver, those bright
silks, velvets, chiffons, everything left behind
 
in the British Embassy, to be bombed late
one night, when the Royal Air Force did their best
to level that part of Berlin.  Today we sit
 
in her gardenshe holds her hands wrist to wrist
to show the fit, the curve of her slender waist.

Published in Common Ground