by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm

There it sat, in all its hideous glory,
a bulbous, iridescent, purple pimple,
with burnished orange tongues licking,
lasciviously savouring the purpleness.

It was a product of the swinging sixties,
and T. Rex glam rock seventies.
An affront to pottery, a frivolous folly;
a vase of distinction, all in the worst possible taste.

Not Spode, Wedgewood or even Pearsons,
She bought it from the market,
proudly placed on top of the mdf bookcase
with glass sliding doors.

They laughed, teased, insulted
the garish, gaudy, clay monstrosity.
Moved from shelf to side, hidden,
it was always restored to centre stage.

Too overpowering to hold delicate blooms,
too selfish, not wanting to be outshone,
it beamed and blinked on the mantle,
in the flickering light of the TV.

House move to house move it survived,
always her pride — in the room left for best,
until she died,
then wrapped in yesterday’s old yellow news;
locked away, denied, a taboo.

One day — somehow, remembered fondly,
revived, the story of Grandma’s vase,
unlocked, unpacked, grieving done, decades gone,
it sees the light of day, and has its place in the sun.

Handed to me, a keepsake, a memory,
an heirloom from Chesterfield market,
it now sits comfortably –- retro;
proudly wearing its purple and orange coat,
a model of perfection — ahead of its time.

© Heirloom 06.10.2014 by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm

PHOTO: The author with the vase she inherited from her grandmother.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My maternal grandmother purchased this vase in the 1970s from Chesterfield market. Most of the family made fun of its gaudiness and used to hide it. I remember it always being on display in her house. When she died it was packed away and stored. Reminiscing with my aunt about my memories of my grandma and her house, the story of the vase came up. A few weeks later she had unpacked the vase and gifted it to me. It is one of my most treasured possessions and it always makes me smile.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexandra Carr-Malcolm was born and raised in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She now lives in Yorkshire and works as a freelance British Sign Language Interpreter within the Yorkshire region. She has been featured in many collaborative anthologies by Dagda Publishing, The Wait, and Three Drops from a Cauldron.Her first anthology Tipping Sheep (the right way) was released in 2013. Her second anthology, Counting Magpies, was released in October 2015. Her poems can be found on her blog