Nanna’s Notebooks
by Paul Brookes

A coal depot clerk’s clear print
in columns shopping list for me,
in another: events in Grandad’s time
at nursing home, medication,
doctor’s and carers visits carefully
recorded until the hand unsteady
scrawled, shook, lines wobbled,
columns invaded columns,
words abbreviated like her breath,
words bent double and tired.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: A page from my Nanna’s notebook.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My Nanna was fastidious in her attention to detail. At times she could compliment and slight in the same sentence. Clerically trained in a coal depot, she carefully recorded the weight of the coal exiting the site. Later she was a shop assistant in Marks and Spencer. She and I planned her funeral well in advance.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Brookes has been writing since he was 11. He was poetry performer with “Rats for Love” and his work was included in Rats for Love: The Book (Bristol Broadsides, 1990). His first chapbook was The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for sixth-formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live.