Watching my Mother on Pathé News

Somalia breaks off relations in 1963

so hurried packing is the order of the day

and there she is in black and white

swishing down the years in a gauzy frock

past hat boxes and tea chests

while servants hammer down the lids.

Mosquito nets predict a breeze.

The camera leaks her fear and sweat.

My father won’t believe his eyes or ears.

‘And me?’ he roars, unable to account

for scenes in Mogadishu where my mother

is the star and he’s not even a prop

or a walk-on part, just a scrap of footage

casually dropped on history’s floor.