Saturday, 17 February 2018

frosty mornings, spring sunlit days, poem

Frosty mornings and spring sunlit days. Very uplifting and optimistic.

The daffodils ringing the bases of the lime trees along our street are all ready to flower.

I wrote the poem below this week. It is, of course, personal but I hope that something of it connects with readers. It stands alone but is also intended to be the start of a longer work.

The incident described happened a long time ago but it - and others around that time - cast a long shadow.

That phrase 'You'll get nothing' was so unexpected, so baffling. Even now, when I understand the strange thought processes behind it much more, it seems utterly bizarre - and terrifying. And prophetic - though in a way that wasn't intended.


You'll get nothing

October 1992

Mum opens her eyes and fixes me,
brow dark, lips disdainful.
'You'll get nothing, Francis.'

At lunchtime, there was no sign that
she might make such a statement.
When afterwards she fell asleep
watching the racing she seemed OK.

As so often, her words ambush -
but quite what the purpose is,
or whether I am really the intended victim
are impossible to say.

The benefit of hindsight -
time brushing the soil from the truth
at its inscrutable pace -
will give insights.

It is as if there is another me in the room.
Someone to whom the words,
'You'll get nothing, Francis,'
seem appropriate.

I know these wrong notes,
have known them all my life.
And they do ambush you, every time.
Strike you dumb.
Not sure if you've heard right.
Self-anaesthetised, protected,
you get through the moment.

Mum observes her imbecile son,
shakes her head.
'Never mind, never mind.
Are you going to make the tea, Francis?'

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