My daughter, Helen, has just got the keys to the house she is to move into after she gets married in October. She and her husband-to-be, with the help of her relations and future in-laws, are in the process of making changes here and there – getting rid of an outside toilet, incorporating the space it gives them into the kitchen, putting in a window where the toilet door was etc – and as I watched all this activity , into my mind popped the lines of the poem To a Married Sister* by the Irish poet Ciarán Carson which, to some extent clarifies my thoughts at the time.
The final stanza runs like this:
Your husband has talked of mending
Broken doors, the cheap furniture
That bore the accidents of others’ lives
That was there before you. A gold resin
Leaked from the slackened joints.
His new saw glittered like your wedding-silver.