The suet inheritance

The surprise
in my mother’s pantry
   six boxes of Atora suet

and a drawerful
of cutlery
   bent out of shape.

None of it
will ever be used again
   by its owner.

There’s a violence to this
tidying away of a woman
   not yet cremated.

What is suet?
I mean exactly what is
   suet?

Little white maggots
in their primary coloured
   cardboard box.

Suet is hard fat
that surrounds cow kidneys.
   If you can stomach the idea

suet makes excellent pastry,
works a treat
   in jam roly-poly,

steamed puddings and pies—
British stodge
   at its best.

My mother was old school
believed all sickness
   could be cured

with water
and will power.
   Until it couldn’t.

I remember this kitchen
The Archers on the radio;
   licking out bowls and spoons.

My mother’s cookbooks
loose spines and recipes that crowd
   untasted between the pages.

The fit of old aprons
the shape of a family
   swallowed into other lives.

Memory is a fine ingredient in any dish
and that afternoon
   I feasted on it.

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