Another Titanic postscript

This must be the final posting about Titanic, at least for this year. It comes from Carolyn Richardson. We started with a poem by Rosie Topping about the Unknown Child, whose body was much later identified. Carolyn’s is about the same child.

Carolyn says this about the story behind the poem:

The name of the Titanic Unknown Child found floating in the sea 5 days post the iceberg hit the ship, has been revealed by dna analysis.

The 19 month baby boy was named as Sidney Leslie Goodwin, whose parents were Frederick and Augusta Goodwin.

Thanks to Clarence Northover, a police officer attending the burning of the clothing of those lost to the tragedy to thwart souvenir hunters, saved a shoe.

Northover couldn’t bring himself to accept the burning of the tiny shoe, so he put it in his drawer at the police station. After retirement he brought it home where he packed it into a drawer

After his death, his grandson found it, donated it to the maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax  & where it was turned over to forensics to reveal the owner of the shoe.

Sidney had five other siblings whom, with their parents on the same liner, were hoping to start a new life in America. They had switched to the Titanic from the SS New York after it became possible for the eldest child, 16-year-old Lillian, to join them. They switched to third class from second to save money and give themselves a faster start when they arrived.

Sadly none survived.

shoe

Tiny Shoe

fire
ice
hell

frozen bodies,
stiff as a board
melt

then
burnt

stench
acrid police piles
thwart
souvenir hunters

yet
sadly cruel
for the lost
who double
lose.

embers are
not remembrances
nor embraces

yet
one tiny shoe
leather
soft as your heart

sea-secrets of
six siblings swept
over
wash into
uniformed
pockets

secretly

salt tears
flowing
from
sea to
eyes
from
eyes
no longer
see

Carolyn Richardson is a poet, painter with work in the Public Catalogue, now re-branded as ArtUK, a maker of filmed poems and a guerrilla poet in the wilds of Dumfries & Galloway. Carolyn has been a Director of the Scottish Writers Centre and long listed for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work, both 2015 & 2016. She spends some of the year abroad in the National Booktown of Montolieu in the South of France. http://www.poetrykitchen.co.uk

Her pamphlet Scots Rock is recently published by Red Squirrel Press.

 

 

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