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  • If I had a mantelpiece I would buy exquisite twin Chinese urns to adorn either end, and purchase the most expensive carriage clocks to place plumb in the centre. I would polish my mantelpiece lovingly, and keep it free from dust. As it is, I have a crude wooden shelf balanced on two piles of bricks. It isn’t very straight and it wobbles. My mantelpiece is not laden with sophisticated ornaments strategically placed, but littered with odds and ends. Amongst my inexpensive items are :

    The trumpet my father used to play in the band
    My grandmother’s thimble and needle collection
    Granddad’s Eiffel tower of rainbow sand
    My uncle’s monocle and several pieces of confection
    A poem on a postcard Toby sent from Torbay
    Greg’s first drawing of fireworks from the nursery
    One baby tooth that fell out on Peter’s fourth birthday
    The last Christmas card my mother sent me..
    Oh if only had the money.. I could afford something better.

    Sue Lattimore


    Dear Poetess
    Do buy a shiny mantelpiece gentle poetess
    To put twin Chinese urns and expensive carriage clocks on
    Polish it all you want, keep it clean and spotless
    Insure your contents, put double locks on


    Your father’s trumpet and granny’s thimble set
    Peter’s baby tooth and Toby’s poem from Torbay
    Greg’s first drawing of fireworks from the nursery
    When he was but three
    And that last Christmas card and other intimate baubles
    That historical mix
    That intricate jewel
    Which are the fingerprints of your soul
    Nay.. its DNA!
    Do belong to that crude wooden shelf balanced on two piles of bricks
    Which isn’t straight and wobbles.

    San Cassimally

    (Photo of Printer's Tray Chez Nous, with some of our baubles)
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