Jewish mother

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Your nose


a talking point.




One of the first to have rhinoplasty you came home with two black eyes and a plaster inches wide across your face and this time I knew it wasn’t my father that had done it. You kept your family a secret, I had met your parents a few times, I remember china cats on stairways, a dog that had its teeth brushed regularly.  There were black and white photos of your Grandmother in furs, in carriages, talk of hotels that your family owned pictures of you in school uniform with that dark curled hair, black eyes and a nose that curved elegantly across your face.  What were the mysteries that you hid, that made your mother deny your very existence? I remember when you were dying, ringing her to tell her of your cancer, to tell her you wanted to see her. “I don’t have a daughter” she said, and the bitterness was an unpalatable evil down the telephone line.   “I don’t have a daughter” echoes in my head, a lonely old woman with cataracts bound to a nursing home bed unable to forgive or forget what you did to her.




After the nose

the dyed blonde hair

astounded me.


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