Angela Topping

First Married Christmas 1933

The narrow house was world enough
for four of them, the old couple and the young.
Mary and Peter, newly-wed, living with her parents
in the only home she’d ever known.

Adeste Fideles and midnight mass, long walk
from St Marie’s to Moss Bank. Next morning,
wake to a Christmas full of family closeness,
pudding with silver sixpences, blackberry wine.

Mary felt the first flickers of new life –
my older brother making himself known,
a struck match in the darkness of my father,
still mourning his mother, his back-turned family.

Angela Topping © 2013