Friday, 12 January 2018

A Poem a Day (68): Fifty-six

A flash poem written for JD Mader's 2minutes go writing exercise... It's every Friday, so if you fancy writing something - whatever you feel like - head over there, or just read the flash fiction and poetry.

There's a story behind this one. I started a poetry course yesterday as my writing needs a bum kick and I was chatting with two of the women in the class at the end. We challenged each other to write a poem for homework, giving each other a line. I was given the final line of this poem to use. So this is what I just came up with.



Fifty-six

The night sighs heavy when it stops to think,
The curve of the light a distant cousin,
The nail in the wall a reminder of hate;
It creaks,
This going forward, always coming back –
A tortured walk is this half-dazed oblivion,
Yet I seek it
Or it seeks me,
Day in, day out, week in, weak doubt.

I like to remind it not to be late,
Not to forget to close the door behind it,
And so it is,
This creeping remembrance lost
Of my selfish conscience,
Flapping like a dried-out fish…
Obsolete.

I like the sound of obsolete.

I can trick myself I’m nothing like,
Yet I can see,
I have eyes,
Two of them,
Though this vision of me blurs still –
A twitch at the sides of a smile says so,
This tortured style of mine.

But tell me this:
Did you think of me today or wonder
Who I indulged these languid hours with?
I was alone, but you won’t know this,
You never ask.

But you’re always here, waiting,
Sucking the bar dry until I reappear
To accompany you between the butts,
Breathing the smoky lungs we share,
Reminiscing, laughing, choking
On our fears, always bigger than us.

And so today I will retell a joke or two,
Watch your grin creep up into a drawn bow.

You know I value these simple hours,
You know I’ll always come back,
Dragging my half-spilled bloody baggage,
Bearing my very bones for observation,
Knowing you will never be my judge –
I came for a half and I got a hug.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, January, 12, 2018

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