I picture my niece
always wearing a base-ball cap after the chemo
with a big smile and bright colours;
you said you’d never seen her in a baseball cap
and sometimes she got quite cross.
Journalist, mother, academic, survivor,
intense, knew her own mind,
finally came to like her hair short.
She said ‘Thank you,
but I manage best not talking about it.’
‘I will live my own way.’
So I never asked her ‘What if…?’
I remember how she laughed,
the way she watched her children,
watched how others behaved with them,
watched to be sure that one didn’t get
more attention than the other.
Meeting in the Gallery, it was the display of Russian manuscripts she wanted to see, and that one particular manuscript because
it showed how those that had been in control had lost that control and that, despite the revolution and the anger, the end was quite peaceful. And life went on, there and elsewhere.