Ivor Murrell


Deleting Footnotes

You can never prepare for this task.
It demands no passion in the wrecking,
just obliterating all signals of existence
throughout your dead parents’ house.

Discovering now what you never knew,
finding parts of what you came to be.
Eventually appearing in your first school report
folded neatly under your first baby shoes.

There are always secrets, some small,
six hoarded packs of sugar, several tins of spam
a forgotten habit, triggered by War memories
only recently remembered and re-lived.

Some findings can confuse or bite,
a carefully hidden photo of an unknown,
a small suitcase with letters of exchanged love
an intensity that shocks, and must be burnt.

If you are lucky there can be humour
a desk drawer full of jumbled keys
brass and steel, but only one labelled
‘This was the back door key- before the lock was changed’

How will you be unmasked when the clearers come?
Have you already left the footnote for your life?




Ivor Murrell has written poetry for over 40 years, but could only give it the time it demanded when he took early retirement, which also allowed him to build his website www.versifier.co.uk to share his writing.

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