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Friday Features
Friday Poetry

Poetry | the lovely one will come

so now the future’s sealed

by the plague outside the jar –

their faces mouthing               something

 

don’t you dare old-grey-mare me

our Flossie says          greying to

white except where the fags

 

her last pleasure left    have yellowed

that perm-frizzed bang            she’s

bright-eyed with that power-

 

glare we old ones use against

the wasting battery      oh yes but she’ll

refuse to join our off-key

 

singalongs       she’ll wheel

herself outside             & under eaves

fag in hand she’ll test her rhythmic

 

memory           she’s got a repertoire

to fill a school anthology

of favourite poems Beware! Beware!

 

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

she warns the Aged Care visitors

& under rugs of clichéd granny

 

squares they’ve got us all lined up

docile – still as rocks – not true –

inside the darling shadows move

 

at different speeds

black floaties on our eyeballs

are not the only movie

 

we watch         we travel more

febrile than the fierce red dots           

on their monitors refusing still

 

to flatline

oh love you’ve had enough no

need to scrape your plate now

 

you can’t eat that picture dear

how many times do we have to strip

your beds        they pressure-hose

 

us on moulded shower chairs

to keep us in a semi-doze they watch

us like lice as we swallow

 

our meds then             they don’t

sometimes I think to them

we’re like that hunger artist I read

 

about way back when

unreadable bones

he becomes     just fiddlesticks

 

beneath the pile of straw

oh here’s an empty cage

the circus manager says

 

just right for this sleek young

panther – we’ll stick him in there

 

& then I’m almost glad

 

to float away

in the long twilight of

the senses        numbness rises

 

& rises             a swollen river

over snags & sharp detritus

what’s that thing the nightnurse

 

said I had in that wordburst

of his that leaves this skin black-

bruised & tore             got a handful

 

of words          not too many names

anymore          they don’t know where

I’m coming from        tucked away

 

in that crumpled place

crumpet place ha        want to

laugh but there’s no one here

 

to share the joke

about the sinkholes that swallow

all the names but I’m telling you

 

the lovely one will come

the one with blue-black hair

thick as coir-mat bristles

 

the one who pours

his dark molasses voice

through all these wards

 

& corridors & pulls my earphones

off       to ask how I am

today –

or was that yesterday?

 

 

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Marion’s most recent books are a memoir The Man on the Mantelpiece (UWAP, 2018) and a poetry collection third body (Whitmore Press, 2018). She now lives in Drouin, in Kurnai-Gunai country, with her two border collies.

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Comments

  1. Goodness dear friends! I don’t know what to say before such generosity. But I send my heartfelt thanks. XXX

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