remains

Laura McDonagh

i have been ebaying my dead mother’s clothes
            but it’s ok, i tell myself
because my mother adored ebay

eulogies speak of great loves:
            the bay city rollers or
            a particular view from a
            particular bench;

hers should have told of the 
thrill she got from an 
            upward trill alert (bid received!)
            the cash register cha-ching (item sold!)
the dark art of magicing money out of                        
nothing.

i check the pockets
of a cream per una raincoat 
(**size 14, immaculate 
condition, from a smoke and pet-free home**) 
            and i think about the stories in the sun
            of liverpool fans 
stealing from the hillsborough dead

            then about the women awaiting 
these grey polythene bags,

            their tower block addresses
and slavic names
            their unfamiliar faces
            their strange 
            hands


Laura McDonagh is a writer living near York. She’s interested in what we mean by ‘home’, social class and the experience of the Irish in Britain. She was a member of Penguin’s WriteNow programme 2020 and longlisted for the Life Writing Prize in 2021. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.