When mummy died, daddy married auntie.
She said she'd loved him from the very first
and since she'd known her sister inside out,
would make a fine new mum for us.
She'd even been there at the accident,
when mum was looking down at her new shoes
and didn't see the truck in time.

Once when auntie was cooking dinner,
she told us how pretty mum had been,
how men had always had an eye for her,
though she dressed too much in flirty stuff.
Then auntie took a package from the fridge,
and said that mum had made herself a shroud
when she was young, in preparation for her death.

Then she pulled away the white wrappings
and exposed the pale thighs and young breasts,
and filled the bird with sticky cherry.
Came in very handy that did, she said,
bending down with the roasting tin.
We put her in it for her cremation,
she really looked her best just then, she grinned,
as the oven door clicked shut.