Afro Poetry Times



was white with a pattern of tiny pink flowers. The flowers were thyme, Grace had said when I’d shown it to her. “Perfect for the summer,” she’d said. And now perfect for her funeral. Then my plans fell around my feet. I’d brought the pattern from Grace’s magazine and cut out the pieces of fabric. But I couldn’t get the machine to work. It was jammed.

I’d have to look inside. Grace had shown me how. Carefully I unscrewed one section and lifted out a panel. I could see something stuck in there.

I put my hand in and pulled out a screwed-up piece of paper, feeling curious.

I folded out the paper. The familiar spidery handwritin­g brought tears to my eyes. And there was Grace’s love-knot ring, with the matching pendant and earrings.

“For my dearest Wendy,” the note began. And in her special way she thanked me for being like a daughter to her.

The tears I’d been holding back now flowed freely, smudging the precious writing.

“I want you to have this jewellery,” she wrote. “And I can’t think of a safer place to leave it.”

A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. Grace had kept her sense of humour and managed to get her own way, right to the very end.

Would I wear the jewellery to her funeral? No. Why upset Victoria? I wore them later that day when I privately toasted Grace with champagne, rememberin­g the good times we’d shared.

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