Poem # 6 | When I Get Home

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When I Get Home

I remember the way in her saddle shoes
she sat, Mr Moonlight beneath her
tongue and swinging slowly on a children’s
park for the last hour, burnt
amber, of an early March evening,

and how she smiled as though I
hadn’t worn my best skirt only 3 hours ago
for him to just
stand on the doorstep while his brother sat waiting
in the car, telling me was the fault, really, of the
boy who did push ups at 4 in the morning
in the hallway but only brushed his teeth
twice a week. I told him it was the fault, really,
of the books I used to read and the noises I could
hear through walls while he was asleep.

But, sat swinging as she smiled I realised
how strange it felt to wear
somebody else’s ring,
and even though my mother said it would
keep me safe all I could feel was the fresh rain
soaking the linen drying in backyards
of Tipperary, and the cobbles of streets I had
never walked over,

and her sepia smile in a café that became a bank
seven years before I was born, and the Christmas presents
for her 10 children, chosen in a post office in
July and stored in a box beneath the counter
for months until she paid the total, and
her youngest son stealing sips from the
milk bottle before bringing it
in from the dark December doorstep, and
Frank Spencer on the TV every Thursday
night at 6,

and the smell of church windows cleaned with
vinegar and newspaper, and the red
hair clogging the shower drain because
she had six daughters,
And I thought to myself,
“when I get home, I’ll take it off”.
So I did.

Poem # 5 | Hiraeth

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Hiraeth

It was not nostalgia I felt when I
heard the news, because
I never knew you
though I knew your face
and name,
I knew you came
from Vojvodina though
that wasn’t where you found
your fame.

I knew about
the $50 in your father’s
wallet; of the year 2000
in New York City with only
what you could fit inside
your tiny pockets. And I
see your face behind my
eyelids as both a blonde
and a brunette which is a strange
thing to do of someone
I have never met.

It was almost nostalgia I
felt on Sunday; homesickness
for a place I’d
never visited nor
left behind. I’ll borrow
a word, Hiraeth, as
it’s the closest
definition I can find.

Poem #4 | December 16th, Your Red Car

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December 16th, Your Red Car

 

We were both almost grown
but your hair was gone,
and I laughed because
I’d never seen your
forehead before and

with you I was
Jane,
Awake again,
because we drove
to a new place
before all the old ones,
past our old school then
down Dagger Lane
in the fog, at midnight,
when I had work the next day.

And I’ll remember that
night, after the turn in
your mind, because I
spoke of the scars on
another man’s
thighs and it was only
for looking that I saw
the trouble I’d left for
safekeeping somewhere
in your eyes.

 

Poem #3 | Heartworm

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Heartworm

 

I liked the word (at first) because the shape
that my mouth made when I repeated it
suggested that I could have used it as an insult,
and that I’d appear refined
and well-read to those who heard it at a quick (note; strategic)
speed (because, unsure of definition, I’d have said it quickly with no desire to mislead)

And I know there’s much to be said about those
with graces and airs, so for occasions such as these I kept
a dictionary in the airing cupboard at the
top of the stairs;

refulgent

re·ful·gent
adj.

Shining radiantly; resplendent.

and I thought the word to be
lovely, and almost
nebulous (which is, by chance,
another word that I like the sound
of – if only because it defines not a cloud of dust.)

That was on a Thursday,
which are a little different for me now –
because I don’t take a bus past your work
every morning anymore,
or feel comforted (almost wanted,
consoled, accounted for)
by the pungent (not unwelcome)
7am petrichor,

and words don’t always mean what
they appear to,
so I’ll call you a heartworm –
I know that you will
find something in that
definition to
adhere to.

Poem #2 | Swinging

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Swinging

 

If I remember anything about tonight,
I hope it’s the way that I felt like Lux Lisbon
when I swung too high,
because the sunlight fell
down through the
leaves and grazed my eyes
and that’s what
Jeffrey would have wanted,
even though i’m not blonde,

and my bed never had a
canopy to hang my
rebellion on,
and we don’t ever get fish flies
where I come from,
and I’ve got the correct amount of
teeth in my mouth.

And how strange it had seemed to me
that I should feel like her,
when it was
Bonnie who swung from
the rope,
and it’s
Therese whose name I
almost
share.

Poem #1 | Washing Powder

The Poem That Inspired The Blog.

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Washing Powder

I couldn’t tell you why the taste
of early October that
freckled my lower lip through an open
bus window beside a building site reminded me
of your Saturday late-afternoon
kitchen, but the heater beneath the tiles
that warms the edges around the floor
where I used to sit in front of the
tinned food entered my mind just then –

and soon after came the broken beams
on your stairwell and your neighbour’s gate
creaking in the winter, and Bernard Black
mornings with scrambled eggs and
the coffee thing,
the cigarette thing,
the garden shoes and stolen QE2 bathrobe thing,
the polite cat on the footpath thing,
the royal blue, turned up collar thing,

and it’s easier to do this
if I pretend I was just your summer
girl; it’s really not your fault that you
found me
in the spring.

And we would have never
made it to the Cotswolds on a bicycle,
or done the “picnic on the Guild Wheel” thing.
I know how to be outside, after all, and
if I was your summer girl you’d have ditched
me in the fall,

which makes it easier to remember the
painting on your bedroom wall, and the story
she wrote about it in the back of your
tab notebook, in your basement in
Liverpool two years before
the picture of you laughing,
shaking hands with Paul
Mcartney, and I know you thought
you shouldn’t be there at all so
you blushed when your parents hung
it on the hallway wall.

I remember her sitting on the edge
of the sink, and she said she
must love him, really, because she felt it
in her bone marrow but then
she doesn’t know how poetic
she gets when she drinks.

And she asked me if I thought we’d
remember these times when we were
old and on our own and I knew then that
we were living out our good old days; the
stories we will tell when we are fully grown.
We will look back on these memories
and know we had it good; days were warmer
we were thinner and we’d go
back if we could.

And I’ll remember the five of us in our booth or
plastic bar seats, drinking cheap cider while you
bartered your talent’s worth in number of
paid drinks and ignored tab receipts,
and here’s a boy I’ve known forever but
when I speak he’ll just speak louder,
so I’ll think of the night we sat on the floor in
my living room, and I kept your head on my
shoulder until I could smell the washing powder.