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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Saint Joseph of Cupertino

My coloured tumblers are fading on the window-ledge;

my aspidistra has grown too leggy for its plastic pot;

the leaves on the cherry tree have turned yellow

and they hang like yesterday’s dirty socks;

the birds are not really singing,

they are mumbling about moving on.


One of my curtains is missing a ring-

it hangs drunkenly from the window’s bony shoulder blade,

and it is probably too late too late for love;

it is probably too late too late:

my wicker hamper overflows with matted cardigans,

my red sheets hide the stubborn stains of poems,

my nights and mornings are filled with delusions.


My mother, at this age, fell in love with dark-eyed priests

with French names like Fillipe;

her favourite saint was the one who laughed so much

he floated to the ceiling;

his levity a kind of grace.

My mother once slept, crumpled,  in the front doorway in her nightie-

she lay behind the screen door while the mosquitoes

batted their blunt heads against the mesh.


She also climbed into a backyard pool

fully dressed and heady with chlorine

on New Year’s Eve 1974,

besotted with a young monk with an eye for little girls.

When it is like that-

when they say things such as mutton dressed up as lamb,

there is no sense in the analogy,

since a woman is not meat.
The Reluctant Saint

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