A shirt is shaken, sprawled over a board.
Her smile is fixed, eyes glazed
hours pass by as the iron runs.
Life evaporates with the steam.
The corpse is well turned out,
the headstone reads “she kept a tidy house”.
Dust piles upon dust
falling layer upon layer
dancing on sunbeams in shafts of light
piercing silent rooms.
Bed clothes lie ruffled.
breakfast pots sit in the sink.
No-one cares they run through fields
climb over styles
gather mud on their boots
eat picnics on blankets
whilst the tap drips into a bowl
waiting, waiting, waiting.
Wind-blown hair, sun burnt skin,
smiles light up the meadow,
birds chatter along with laughter
on the breeze, the dandelion clock
sends parachutes to mark the hours
of this endless day.
I’m 46 for goodness sake!
Where did those years go?
I was 20 only yesterday
full of vigour and gusto.
I’m closer to the grave
than the cradle which is mad
I haven’t even started yet
wasted youth is pitifully sad.
I should have sailed around the world
raising Hell everyday
been a rock star filling stadiums
instead of shuffling life away.
But had I been that rock chic
I’d never have met my man
or held my babies in my arms
and heard them call me Mam.
But Bloody Hell, I’m not ready!
for wrinkles and support tights
I’ll not go gently into bingo halls
and fade into goodnight.
So crack open the Southern Comfort
add a splash of coke
there’s still life left in this old girl
before I finally croak.
Drink up and let’s be merry
raise a glass or two
to living our lives fully
before we bid adieu.
Life is too short and so
to save time,
to be efficient,
I wear an Einstein wardrobe;
when a kaleidoscope of colour
flounces before me, I envy
I indulge in the dream of being
free to reside in sparkling rainbows
simply dancing, with no destination
kicking away scrumpled up “to-do” lists
tossed aside with abandon.
The moment passes.
I console myself;
a books beauty is held on the inside.
I move on.
This poem was strangely influenced by an article by Julie Marie Wade, Wednesday, March 18, 2015: article
“Put a Dog in There: Poetry and the Power of Concrete Nouns”
used as a Napowrimo craft resource. In her essay she discusses the power of including nouns.