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There it sat, in all its hideous glory,

a bulbous, iridescent, purple pimple,

with burnished orange tongues licking,

lasciviously savouring the purpleness.


It was a product of the swinging sixties,

and T. Rex glam rock seventies.

An affront to pottery, a frivolous folly;

a vase of distinction, all in the worst possible taste.


Not Spode, Wedgewood or even Pearsons,

She bought it from the market,

proudly placed on top of the mdf bookcase

with glass sliding doors.


They  laughed, teased, insulted

the garish, gaudy, clay monstrosity.

Moved from shelf to side, hidden,

it was always restored to centre stage.


Too overpowering to hold delicate blooms,

too selfish, not wanting to be outshone,

it beamed and blinked on the mantle,

in the flickering light of the TV.


House move to house move it survived,

always her pride – in the room left for best,

until she died,

then wrapped in yesterday’s old yellow news;

locked away, denied, a taboo.


One day – somehow, remembered fondly,

revived, the story of Grandma’s vase,

unlocked, unpacked, grieving done, decades gone,

it sees the light of day, and has its place in the sun.


Handed to me, a keepsake, a memory,

an heirloom from Chesterfield market,

it now sits comfortably – retro;

proudly wearing its purple and orange coat,

a model of perfection – ahead of its time.


© Heirloom 06.10.2014

by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm