Nadine Aisha Jassat is a wonderful up-and-coming poet who’ll be joining Jackie Kay, Scotland’s Makar, for an event with us on Sunday 23rd of July. She’s kindly shared a poem with us from her debut poetry pamphlet Still. You can find out more about Nadine and her work at her website, and join us and Jackie for a lively conversation in on the 23rd. Enjoy.
And so the time came to go through her jewellery,
the last of it
the little bits,
we can’t let go.
We were told
that anything of value was sold,
and what’s left didn’t matter.
………I wanted to hold your hand at the funeral
………but I couldn’t find the right time.
‘let’s do it together
come down for some ‘girl time,’
just you and me.’
I don’t know what was worse,
seeing her handwriting, or holding
what was hers, feeling
as if we could meet in her last touch,
and go our parting ways.
………I can’t remember when we last spoke,
………and that is a betrayal.
I read the addresses on the jewellery boxes,
forming a map in my mind.
Her story is told here:
Doncaster, Sheffield, Darwin, Southport, Newquay, Darwin,
Darwin, Darwin, Darling.
That’s what she used to call me.
I’ve kept them all, empty boxes and costume pearls
and the growing weight of words, words, words.
We made two piles:
yours, and mine.
Both hers, or at least were.
We didn’t know what to do with her husband’s watches –
a surprise really, that she kept them –
they sit in-between us, and not one of them ticks.
Caught up in the moment,
………I miss you
putting your findings away.
Upstairs dense footsteps creak,
men rising – yours, and mine,
but I don’t want to let go of girl time,
of all that is still left.
I wonder if I’ll see those pearls again,
the ones that you have kept,
in my own collection someday.
It feels too heavy
to think of you that way.
From ‘Still’. Copyright Nadine Aisha (Nadine Aisha Jassat) 2014
Follow Nadine at @nadineaishaj on Twitter.