Bill & Annie
Which is why we came back home via the great kai shop of modern times. Where I bought food for my short people who have no taste and thus leave the mussels to the adults. See, I do feed them. And where I live, wearing your gumboots to the supermarket is not totally unusual behaviour. Still a bit hard to see, but I'm wearing my new skirt again. The one that I sewed all by myself. I've got more sewing stuff going on, involving making a dress all by myself. Got more reading to do first.
I've been thinking about Bill and Annie for a long time. Especially Annie. Almost twenty years. Silence. One whisper, repeated only once. Drink. Otherwise no one ever spoke of her, only of Bill. I've seen the certificates, with an x beside mother. He wrote his name. Had a business. That part was before he got married. About 16 years between Bill and Annie, if the records are even vaguely accurate.
I don't know whether you would have been nana or grandma or something else. Dead while your kids were kids. But, you Annie, my Irish great great grandmother, I think of you every time I read things which purport to say something about working class women in colonial New Zealand. This photograph, some certificates of marriage, births, death, that short sentence. And silence.