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Friday, 16 September 2016 11:09

My Grandmother's Name


In her 70s

the rigid clack

of a label maker

stamped out

her neat name

to be stuck

spirit-level straight

on cupboards, Tupperware,

biscuit tins and dustpans.


Her widowed father,

open-handed helpless,

had passed her on to his sour sisters

to be raised in a house of chiming clocks

and maudlin tapestry cushions.


Even as a child she marked everything

in strict Victorian capitals:


in case anyone should

think to take what was hers

in case anyone should

forget (again)

where she belonged.


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Louella Sullivan

Louella Sullivan learned to type poems one-handed whilst bouncing small babies on her lap. She did an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes in 2014 where she completed her thesis Bitten under Robert Berold. She is a Drama, History and English teacher as well as a part-time lecturer at Rhodes University. She has been published in Aerodrome, New Contrast, New Coin and Itch. Her poems have been described as "polished, poised and vivid". In 2016, her poem "Refugee" was longlisted for the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award.