Poem 98, day 102: Imprint

 Imprint

 

The makeover was simple.

Nothing more required

than a disguise

of paint,

just like

a snake

shedding skin.

The ceilings shine black

and the walls,

they blink white

and I thought,

maybe,

that was the mistake.

Two, three, even

ten coats will

never hide the

mouths kissed,

bodies writhed,

nights lived in

a haze of drunken youth.

The imprints mark deeper

than cushion covers,

table tops, varnish;

they cut like

fallen stone.

 

~S L. James

Poem 97, day 100: Carried

Carried

 

When they were little

And the sky had closed its doors

All they wanted was to sleep in their mother’s bed.

Theirs were cold, and empty, and far too large

For childish limbs that were only just

Beginning to learn that night plays

As big a part as day.

 

~S L. James

Poem 96, day 99: Flow

Flow

 

It was a good day.

The traffic passed like a stream

And we sat side by side.

There was nothing in the way

 

And when that song came on

The radio I looked at you, you

Looked at me and the

Goosebumps that tiptoed

 

Up our arms sat softly

In the light, softly like the trickle

Of water that was free to run,

Free to flow, where it liked.

 

~S L. James

Poem 94, day 97: The Pigeon and The Tramp

The Pigeon and The Tramp

 

They couldn’t have looked more relaxed if they tried.

On the floor lay the bird with the sun on his back,

A wing stretched out,

You’d almost think he was oblivious to the screech of children,

The swing of my leg if it weren’t for his eyes-

Glassy, orange beads that would not rest.

Up and down they went, left and right, anywhere

 

But the tramp moulded to the bench.

He’d been sipping from a flask until in afternoon heat

His eyelids drooped, his body slid, his head went down,

Chin to his chest.

Greasy hair stuck to his scalp like sodden shoelaces.

His checkered shirt was stained but his shoes,

His polished black shoes shone, almost mirrored the clouds.

 

They both slept, but the bird was watching everything.

He was alert, ready for when the little boy jumped

Too close and he took off, disappeared behind the fresh green

Of young leaves, the chime of the clock striking three.

The tramp didn’t stir- not for the child, or the bell, or

The flask as it broke free from his hand and 

Dropped, clattered, noisily to the ground.

Poem 93, day 96: He Missed Her When She Wasn’t There

He Missed Her When She Wasn’t There

 

Every now and then he questioned,

Not questioned, just wondered

How it would be if she wasn’t there.

Those times were like a pinch

When he woke with a thought

And spoke to an empty space,

Or found a sock stuffed behind the

Leg of a chair, the strands of her hair

In the loops of his belt- smiling to think

How they got there at all and he was

Glad, that those times were rare,

That for the most part they slept as one

With limbs tangled like lives;

That there were two mouths

To finish a loaf of bread, that if he

Needed to cry, yell, laugh with someone

He could.

He didn’t need to question,

Or wonder, he already knew;

He missed her like hell

When she wasn’t there.