Merryn Williams

Merryn Williams is the editor of The Interpreter’s House magazine, founded in 1996. Her third collection, The First Wife’s Tale (Shoestring Press), was long-listed for the Welsh Book of the Year 2007.

My Cousin
Edith Hemp d. Bournemouth 1930

She came here–not to rest–to sweep the stairs
and empty chamber pots. The gilded chairs
still stand here, the enormous mirrors throw
my face back as they did hers, aeons ago.
Down these plush corridors she moved, her feet
not echoing–dusting, leaving all things neat.
Somewhere her midget room, a great way up
these stairs. Invisible beneath her cap
to Bournemouth’s guests, but I know who she was;
my flesh, my blood, thrown early from the nest.
A small skimped woman when she was alive,
all siblings lost, unmatched at forty-five.
No trace, not one. Still stands the Grand Hotel
but now she rests. Somewhere in Bournemouth still.

Merryn Williams

The First Wife’s Tale, Shoestring Press, 2007;
Jane Austen’s The Watsons, Pen Press, 2006;
The Latin Master’s Story, Rockingham Press, 2000;
The Chalet Girls Grow Up, Plas Gwyn Books, 1998

19 The Paddox
tel: 01865 511259
Merryn Williams website
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