Mimi Khalvati has published eight collections with Carcanet Press, including Child: New & Selected Poems, a Poetry Book Society Special commendation, and The Meanest Flower, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. She is the founder of The Poetry School where she teaches. She has received a Cholmondeley Award, a major Arts Council Writer’s Award and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her most recent collection, The Weather Wheel (Carcanet 2014), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Book of the Year in The Independent.
One couldn’t see through the glass doors,
the glass being frosted and endowed
with fruit and flowers, but the odours
of cooking seeped through and the bowed
figures of aunts bent on their task,
positioning spoons, plates, cast shadows
against the panes, humped and grotesque,
like kindly, harmless Quasimodos.
Unlikely loves! Like Stevie Smith’s
lion aunt who gave her the lion’s share,
my aunts, great-aunts, who always came
in twos, the way fruit and flowers pair,
if love was the dish, ladled out rice with
barberries, cumin, then called my name.