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The Sign at the End of the Road
by Jim Bennett
There was a sign at the end of the road
It said “adopted”
I always thought
that was how
people knew
but no one had told me
I found out at 12
in a shop
I heard a lady I did not know
as she spoke
to someone else
this is the one
Mary adopted
she said
as she smiled at me
and it was
I never told Mum or dad
kept it secret
like they had
but searched for
eventually found it
in an envelope
under clothes at the back
of a bedroom drawer

inventory 1953

the inventory came with the baby
1 three piece outdoor set
4 turkish Napkins
2 pair of socks
2 nightdresses
2 pair of shoes
2 vests
2 liberty bodices
2 pair knickers
1 cardigan
2 Jersey suits
1 pair rubber pants
1 pair mitts
it filled up the space
below the statement
which read
I will receive James into my home
feed, clothe and look after him
and bring him up
as carefully
and kindly
as I would a child of my own
below this and below the
was the familiar scratched
signature of my mother
who has always kept her word


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