FIONNA INWARD ALLEN
Blackberry Picking: a monologue
“I’d just left her. She was in a good mood. She said she was going up the back garden to check if there were any new buds on the brambles.
When we were kids we used to go for walks, out the garden, over the railway tracks, pick blackberries. I don’t believe it was suicide. Mind you, what child thinks their own mother would leave them? She was just fine the hour before. The police recorded it as a suicide but I still don’t believe it.
My brother was there when the police turned up. They had to physically restrain him from running out to see the body on the tracks. It was my sister who called me. She said, “You haven’t heard have you? Mum’s dead.” We raced over to the farm. They hadn’t moved the body yet.
Dad was out. We had to call him, tell him to come home but he was driving so we didn’t tell him she was dead. We just said, “It’s about Mum.” I think he thought she’d fallen down the stairs or something. She used to race up and down those stairs. He used to say to her “One of these days...”
They had to cut some fingers off to remove her rings. Her wedding ring was completely flattened. They said “we’ve found one of her earrings as well” and I asked “what about the other one?” They didn’t have an answer to that.
They didn’t do a very good job of removing the body. There were still bits of her on the track. I said to my Peter, “I wonder what was in the coffin?” I think about that a lot. I know you shouldn’t imagine it but you can’t help it can you?”