Push open the door and enter her room
with heavy beige wallpaper
and brown gloss paint.
Grandma, propped up with pillows,
crisp white sheet,
pure silk eiderdown,
raises a frail hand in greeting.
Time to cram her into her corset,
I stagger from chair to bed
with the well washed cotton contraption.
I am eight and grown up.
I fasten the buckles, thread tapes,
tug at cords, clip on suspenders,
under her orderly instructions.
I help her into her flowery frock,
brush her hair, dab on some powder,
pass her a mirror for her approval.
A bomb damaged Grandma’s back
but mother says she is indomitable.
She glides downstairs ready
to organise the rest of the house.