a path well trod (sequel to Venus in a red dress)

the broken cello

sprawled on a pile

of flea market debris

caught Angela’s eye

as she rummaged

for carrots and cabbage for soup


its neck was snapped

she soon fixed that with

Christmas wrapping sellotape


and sat on her sunset balcony

miming - it had no strings –

to a Brahms quartet

on the wireless set


money was short, the rent unpaid

one room was all she could afford

until his promised cheque arrived


all was rosy

at the Baggot Street party

when she caught the eye

of a Dublin dignitary


those drunken orgies

all nighters in Dalkey!


when nature had its way

she lettered the painter

who promptly replied,

by way of a secretary,

promising Harley Street

and money to tide her over


‘I won’t leave you stranded, Macushla,

I’ll send you to my ‘London fixer’


the ‘fixer’ bodged the operation

Angela would never have children


how would she explain

her absence and pain

to her childhood boyfriend,

fiancé, Kevin?


the soup boiled over the Belling hob

pooling on the lino floor – in rage

the cello went over the balcony rail


she might have mopped the cabbage mess

but the wall covered

in playful puppy pattern

peeling brown stained paper

mocked her distress

the final straw -

she'd had enough


how had it come to this?

a back-of-house bedsit in Bognor Regis

without view of the sea

scrounged cigarettes from the other guests


dodging the concierge

withholding the rent

in case of emergencies


this is not what she expected

as the artful nabob

posed her in a shallow pool


‘you are Venus – I’m Botticelli’


and painted her naked

her long red hair flowing


next; in a bath of icy water


‘I am Millais - you be Ophelia’


she all but caught her death

of pneumonia


and the sex? nothing special

him another grope and grunter

hours of foreplay,

two quick thrusts

that was it - all over


and Kevin? Kevin was never the wiser


Angela downed the last of her gin

left the soup staining the floor

tip-toed past the concierge door


the overdue rent would pay her way back

to take her chances with her man in Dublin.

◄ a life frozen by a moment of time

hip hooray for lockdown ►



Sun 10th May 2020 06:30

Thanks, Martin, it is the sequel to an old pome, 'Venus in a red dress' of which I posted a revision here last week sometime.
On another site someone offered a follow-up scenario (a what happened next?) and my acceptance of his suggestion/challenge is what this one is.

It is a morality tale set in the early 1950s - she is a victim but arguably she deserved it (karma?) the only genuinely innocent one is Kevin back in Dublin.

Did Angela return to Kev? or did she go back to the so and so who put her in the family way and paid her out of it?

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Martin Elder

Sat 9th May 2020 22:41

This is an interesting tale with plenty of colour and depth tinged with pathos.

Love it

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