A Smell Of Camphor

Author: Breda Sullivan

She was never ready
when we called,
always went
to her front room,
opened a wardrobe door
on darkness
and a smell I now know
was camphor, reached inside

for her black coat,
black boots,
hooked the coat hanger
on the kitchen door,
dipped into each pocket
for a mothball
round as a gobstopper,
sat in her own chair
to put on her boots;

when I was a child
was a summer day
a black lace
snake, cross, loop
up the front
of Bridgie’s knee high boots.