My father kept what little he had of my mother
in a drawer. It branded his next wife as second.
She tipped the contents onto a fire she’d lit
in the garden – photos with deckled edges,
wedding pictures in card sleeves,
snaps of my mother with her sisters as children,
pages from the only album of their few years together –
thrusting them into the blazing tongues, smoke thick
with celluloid – my mother’s face blistering
and melting in the heat.  Scraps
of burning paper flying off like singed bats.
Glorying in the new order must’ve been brief –
she still had to live with the brat
who resembled the woman she’d hoped to erase.



Rebecca Gethin has written 6 poetry publications. She was a Hawthornden Fellow and a Poetry School tutor. Vanishings was published by Palewell Press in 2020.  Her poems appear in various magazines and anthologies.  She blogs sporadically at