I like to write poetry about the everyday and small details of life. Writers I admire include Sharon Olds and my ex tutor Julia Copus who is a genius as a poet and tutor. I work with children with special needs and this has informed my recent work.
Dad's Ladders I have dad's ladders now. Though they are not used much they are indispensable. Any time I like I can run a finger over the past. I can feel the Braille characters of a knobbly moment when the paint splashed a step. Memories of rooms we painted together are condensed into elegant white gloss pennies strewn on the footholds. Fingerprints of frosted lilaces flower over the hand rail. My mistake the red a lonely puddle on the top tread. Today I slip my foot into yours as I ascend the ladder, to add a new memory. Terracotta and green. The colour of my new kitchen. The Commitment I am no easy choice I who demand Conversations and smiles Compliments on Hair, clothes The clasp of your hand in the street Greetings cards with love before your name I am no easy choice I who expect A thank you after a good dinner To be missed and told so A phone call when you are away A text with three X’s I am no easy choice But chosen, am entirely true Swim Day You right angle your way into the classroom pinballing against bodies that stiffen and push. From your arm a plastic bag bearing your name twirls in its own orbit I tread the air around me as You breaststroke the last few yards to me We made smile contact, my inhale Blots my words dry so I sign yes, swimming today My fingertips meet yours in the air between us As we become synchronized swimmers in the dry classroom We voluntary return to our element. A quick change and we are in No time to feel the temperature Sandwiched between heaven and earth You cause cosmic chaos splashing with both hands I move away from you to give me room I bless my tall body as I begin long lazy strokes through the water The rounded belly dissolves in the soft ripples Fleshy thighs are lapped smooth of their cellulite I feel a renewal the buoyancy of youth Restored my stroke swaggers to the deep end Where the whistle and fizz of children is pleasantly extinguished I turn in my slipstream Content to have had a little time to myself I concentrate on you I visit your country Already knowing your language, I do what you do I splash, grimace, sigh loudly I copy body language Angle legs and arms like a swastika Heart to eye we chatter loudly Time leans towards 11.15 I heave my body out of the water And have to bribe you to do the same I swing a bottle of shower gel Entice you with the promise of a flower garden Wet limbed and shinning you join me poolside Earth beings again we tiptoe into the shower You wash three times Towel yourself dry Dress with care Giving great attention to your socks The toes must enter perfectly I feel calm as I watch you so contained A round peg, in a round hole And regret that school will soon blunt our edges sharp again. Waiting We parted in the winter With so much silence My words destructive power Froze and congealed in my mouth My winter wind breath slept, a dark Enemy of love and charity I listened for spring My words winter garment of frost melted Into courting green Innocent buttons slipped open Words spilled out transformed By their hibernation Into benign sentences In the winter I was dumb and white Now I am green and new and singing.
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