It’s not really wallpaper, but those loose ends do remind me of my father.
He used to paper the rooms at a home for elderly. While he was director of a girls’ school.
He earned our holidays with it, he told us.
He had special clothing for doing it. Old clothing.
& A hat.
Underneath his hat, on his ear, he had a pencil hanging.
A short one, that during his life never shrank.
That one pencil. I’m sure he never changed it.
One of the last rooms he papered was mine. He still used the same pencil, hanging behind his ear when he didn’t need to mark something down.
That’s why I thought he wouldn’t die.
Everything would remain the same, change slightly, but remain the same and wouldn’t shrink.