I wrote this poem when I lost a friend and neighbour. I’ve only read it out once, while a group of her friends – writers, as was she – sat about eating her pavlova and speaking of her.
I would like to share it with you, because I miss her still.
Damn it God!
Why don’t you take the arseholes?
if you can say that;
who grab a woman out jogging
then leave her broken in a sarcophagus
of dirt and leaves,
hooligans who throw a bottle from a car
and put an elderly lady in hospital,
criminals who slash someone’s throat for thirty dollars,
cigarettes and a bottle of booze.
There’s the lady who smells of lavender,
her blue eyes condemning the teenage mother
out playing football with her son in the park,
and the father who ordered her to leave
when he saw her belly expanding,
while her mother worried what the neighbours
They’re all still here.
Yesterday, through a stained glass window,
sunlight painted a jagged mosaic on
a silver handled coffin.
Inside lay a grey-haired
spirited nana of sinful humour.
You didn’t need her as much as I.
The only woman I’ve straddled a back fence for.
My cat, he nearly lived at her house,
Margaret let him run wild you see,
he, and her Katie,
turned her home into an amusement park
for rambunctious kittens.
So why God?
You’ve got Mum and Dad and Auntie.
I had a lot to learn from Margaret,
coffees to drink,
while we’d dismember our pasts in yielding,
movies to watch,
Margaret likes the feel-good ones
– we differ –
books to carve up, we both like Agatha Christie,
and stories to create.
I will miss her unfettered eyes.
you should’ve taken
someone who won’t leave this pain in my chest,
making it hard to swallow.
I’m not ready to say goodbye.