The Secret Pages: Gwelfor (County Stores)

There is a photograph I can’t find
of late-fifties high tea at Gwelfor,
the dresser parading as the backdrop;
around the table and smiling for the camera,
you, Mam, Nain Bermo, some aunts.

It must be in one of the boxes in my study.
If I found it I could list those at the table
and confirm or refute the memory
of my other nain being in that image.
What I am certain of, irrefutably,

is the absence of both my taids.
You were twenty-one, your brother nine
when your father, who worked in the bakery
in the yard behind the camera, died:
in other photos he looks worn and worried.

Parthenogenesis was not in our vocabulary,
but we had nains who manifested
as the whole of that ring in the family tree.
Hardly a wonder you feared
you would not live to see your children grown.

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