Poem 71, day 72: I Thought of You

I Thought of You

 

I thought of you last night.

Tall, gracious, kind.

Saw those days of childhood when your home was a special place,

And the smell of lavender in the bathroom never failed.

The organ in the hallway waiting each time with its large

Brown hood rolled down.

Your fingers were art themselves.

Guiding paintbrushes, needles, notes,

With a touch that could never be taught.

The shell of your weakened body didn’t stop you,

Not really, it told a story that hadn’t reached the end;

There were mornings to be viewed for a while longer,

Alarms to ring at six thirty am in time for breakfast at seven.

Walks to take along the route that recognises you by now,

And expects your steps upon the grass.

 

It did all stop, of course. It had to.

You’d hardly even know now, the overgrown fields

Where balls once bounced as your dog played twice a day.

I barely knew it myself. But then, as I thought of you,

And drives in your van that had chairs, a table,

Even a bed;

Each place went you went counted as a thread, a tie,

A knot wound far too tightly to ever be undone.

 

Poem 68, day 69: The Shop Assistant

The Shop Assistant

 

The queue almost stretched to the end of the shop.

Not once did he look over his glasses.

He feared people, and so he took his time.

Individually packed items into bags made of plastic.

He wasn’t thinking of the potatoes, or washing powder,

Or the tomato sauce he packed.

He was thinking of home, of his mother,

His elderly mother whos hips made it difficult to walk.

She’d be there now, with only a television for a friend,

Waiting for him to return.

 

His downward glance was interrupted

By the thrust of a hand, grabbing a bag.

‘Might as well do it myself.’

The noise of people, it grew louder. The mumbling of

Irritation rolled along the queue to his ears,

And he tried, really hard to think of something else.

‘Hurry up!’ said the hand,

But as much as he wanted to, and he really did,

He couldn’t go any faster.

Or even mumble a word.

Poem 67, day 68: Smoke Rings of their Own

Smoke Rings of their Own

 

The smoke became lost in the steam.

We lit candles, turned off the lights,

Watched clouds stamp and roll their way

Across a sky nudged with the navy of night;

Intruded by a moon too large for complete darkness.

The candles didn’t flicker, or dance, or even make

The slightest shudder.

They were as still as our bodies that lay like a painted picture.

The links of our arms, thighs, hands barely visible.

The water softer than skin.

The movement on the tiles-

Shadows playing, kissing,

Came from somewhere outside this room.

Peeking their way through the glass.

Blowing smoke rings of their own.

 

 

Poem 66, day 67: From the Back of the Wardrobe

From the Back of the Wardrobe

 

Today I pulled a pair of trainers from the back of the wardrobe.

They were buried beneath a pile of fallen jackets, stilettos, boots

caked with mud from a sodden winter. They weren’t white anymore,

these trainers. More a cream stamped with brown. Soles scuffed,

unknown stains upon the toes, is that coffee? My feet slide into

the moulds as if they had never left. The laces, tucked beneath the tongue,

hidden from the start, are the only reminder of something once new.

Clean, neat, brand spanking new.

 

 

Poem 65, day 66: Nine Came and Passed

Nine Came and Passed

 

Uneaten sausage and mash.

That was the trigger this time,

That was all it took and then it happens again,

Like lights switched off in a building at night

One empty room at a time;

All except a single bulb that flickers and fights against itself

Thinking over and over sausage and mash,

Cooked just right for once, the potatoes creamy,

Sausages browned and steaming,

Onion gravy made almost perfectly for the first time ever.

I never left the kitchen, a wooden spoon fixed in my hand,

Stirring constantly for fear of leaving the pans alone;

Plated good enough for a restaurant.

But nine came and passed and it went cold, stayed uneaten.

So much emphasis placed on that meal of sausage and mash, and why?

Is this what it’s come down to?

A day later that bulb still flicks on and off, still battles.

Angry, bitter, that it was the only one to care about

That little plate of sausage and mash while the rest of the world

Lives out a life of importance.

Poem 64, day 65: How Things Change

How Things Change

 

It was familiar when we were younger.

Sundays were different to other days,

We’d dress a little nicer, were told to speak

A little kinder, and we’d gather

In a building made of stone and history.

 

The old were grateful for the young,

The noise of children a reminder

That time was once without limits,

That coloured glass made stories brighter,

That tradition would be continued.

Or so they hoped.

 

I was around thirteen when I decided

That I was wiser than it all.

Doubt came with the realisation

That it mattered not whether the door was left open at night,

And thoughts became something to fear.

The sky high pillars, the long white robes,

The book with too many words to ever read

No longer held all the answers.

 

We went back today.

It wasn’t intended, the sound of a band

Rang out, so we stood at the gates and watched

For a while through the open doors.

Let’s go inside for a minute, why not?

The smell was exactly the same-

Musty, wooden, the smell of age.

Different faces, different daffodils, different walls,

Yet that scent- identical.

And all around they sat, as we did,

All those years ago.

With ears still fresh enough

To believe every word.