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