April Challenge, Day 6. Prompt: record the details of your day and generate a poem from that.
We curl close and warm,
talk a while, get up and have coffee
in front of our screens, breakfast
at the dining table, where we read.
He goes back to bed, sleeps,
doesn't wake when I leave the email,
go in and shower. Our grey cat
is curled up with him
at the foot of the bed.
At the other end of the house
my son Steve is silent until
at 11.40 I take him coffee, grab mine
(a new cup) and we talk till lunchtime –
late lunchtime, nearly 1.30.
He says it's exhausting
proving to me that I'm not a poet.
Not, that is, as some fundamental
core of my self, but rather
something programmed in,
a way of winning approval
even now, from my dead father.
This is unpalatable, and I'm hungry.
I go to make lunch and find
Andrew's now up and dressed.
I go in and make the bed.
Afternoon and evening,
between food and work, rain and shine –
between wind and thunder
and walking down to the shops twice
and putting out the rubbish and bringing in
the empty bin – my son forces me to see
unhappiness I live with and pretend
isn't there and refuse to fix. I end
by watching TV with tears leaking.
Then I phone my best friend Linda
to wish her Happy Birthday.
She tells me that her only son
has been in a terrible accident
and is now quadriplegic. He's 38.
I've known him since he was born.
Now my tears overflow.
My son, 39, gives me coffee.
I go on the computer to beg for prayers
and healing for my friend and her son.
My husband and I sit down
in front of the telly again.
We watch Andrew Denton explore
living with madness:
voices of angels and demons
all day, invading your head.
© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008
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