My mother has begun to talk about
her father, who died when she was 13

My father’s family was so poor
they didn’t eat lunch

Secrets draped in sheets, sealed
in the remotest rooms of a museum

In the afternoon, his mother told him
to stand in the yard and clean his teeth
with a toothpick

so obscure I once found a photo
and asked, Is this…?

so the neighbours would think
they’d just eaten

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