Nana swears

She called them marriage lines and sometimes
when she could get away with it, marriage lies.
Swore they were lost. Who needs them anyway?

She lied like a spy, like a poet.
No-one believed her, though we made out
we did. Until we forgot we didn’t.

They came to light in the end, the marriage
lines. The ocean of her clutter giving up
its truths without spume, after she opted

not to wake up, due to natural causes.
She was that way out. Always had been,
from the day she swore she was six years younger

than grandad, who is recorded as born
a year before his mother was pregnant.
She could do passion, any day, Nan. Evidence

the ripped certificate, names of bride and groom
thrown to the flames in some stamper of a row.
Before they kissed and made up. Like that’s true.

Rebecca Bilkau