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.

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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