(a) broken home

broken home

 

each night repeats the one before;

the pub and back to an empty home,

to sleep on a sheet-less single mattress

 

the dirty washing heaps smell sour -

maybe the launderette... tomorrow.

 

I had a cat – what’s happened to her?

 

the sink is stacked with a greasy pile

of chipped enamel mugs and plates

and black-bottomed pots and pans

 

I’ll wash them next time I wake up sober

 

I wanted a lover - but settled for lovers;

wine, women, and the ‘walk of shame’

from the beds of one-night stand

school-gate single-mothers:

 

them whispering from the pillow,

‘close the door gently as you go -

mustn’t wake the kids too early.’

 

or strangers, legless on Bacardi,

who’d remember me as,

‘some bloke I dunno, maybe...

I think... I might... have shagged one night.’

 

married women occasionally,

winked assignations

over skinny lattes –

on a strictly casual basis

 

no glance of recognition

when paths crossed out of the blue,

at a buffet party or a leaving do; 

 

 ‘could you pass the veggie pâté?’

‘the pleasure’s mine.’

‘glass of sherry?’

‘thank you. so very kind.’

 

memories, memories;

 

Sara’s beach-baptism at South Bay Scarborough;

her crotch-deep rejection of the ‘works of Satan,’

her holy ‘hallelujah’ as the pastor

thanked the Lord and dunked her under

 

Satan’s ‘works’ had been fine by Sara,

four times, or five, just one week earlier

 

a wedding late October,

Fliss in a stately

haute couture satin dress,

mother-in-law fascinator,

and implausible air of

orgulous dignity -

hard to square

with the hotbed-wildness

I kissed ‘goodnight, sweet dreams’

and closed the bedroom door on

sometime mid-September

 

after a traditional

reception sequel;

a drunken hotel fumble

with the bouquet grabbing

maid-of-honour

 

early hours heading home

I stopped at the fish-quay

to buy cod heads for Coco

 

I hope she’s still around

somewhere.

 

◄ and in bright morning

on considering a photo of an old friend ►

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