Matters of Love and Death
You know you’ve reached middle age
when you just don’t come like you did in your twenties.
Younger friends bustle through their thirty something’s with kids and houses and friendships, solid with time and sharing, or so I dream for them.
I’m racing ahead uphill empty handed,
No treasures or ties to carry proudly along
Careful cache in the dresser drawers and jeans pocket of my world.
Books of poetry sometimes call – you can’t read your own – timeless teller of your story – but I hear it well enough from the page.
If you had a daughter would it be me?
Wizened word-smith, speaking wisdom from the tree stumps of your water retentive thighs.
My body like a bomb damaged building
water main pulsing gently into disfigured ground,
Back stairway to basements no longer passable,
no chance to leap the broken step,
too far-gone, a route I’ll never scramble down again.
I’m in the old girls club at last, fitting in, knowing the language, something that means something to say, my own fractured concrete that was and counts for something.
The route romantic pathways traversed, you can’t get through, it would take a bulldozer to move the fallen tree and no point anyway, nothing down there to see, no need for that old line, a new bypass carved up the edges.
Freezing to death in the snow, lie still long enough not to know you can’t move that leg any more.
Sometimes I do that in bed in the morning, 2 or 3 seconds of no sensation but warmth, before consciousness wades in.
Janet Jones, 49, Brighton