Bent Forward, Nearly Double

Bent forward, nearly double
Her eyes on the ground
As she pushes the trolley along
The pity aimed at her

Is almost palpable

But she doesn’t notice it
She smiles into a pond
None of us can see
It is spread out before her

As she walks

What a life
The things she knows
Things like
You don’t need beauty to get laid

All that over done machismo

About how you should look
All of it ignored
What counts is how you feel
Inside

Moments she has known

The moment that he realised
he didn’t know her anymore
She saw it in his eyes
That self possessed woman

Who was no longer possessed

Raw, primal sex in a park
When she was young and
they were hidden in the dark
Faceless, nameless carnal

Primal

Cigarettes in theatres
Ice creams in the sun
Feet in mile after mile of sand
The joy of a first flight

When flying was new and rare

The first time held in by a seatbelt
Instead of lolling in the back
The first time fingers tapped a keyboard
On a computer with a screen

Swiped a phone

She smiles into the pavement
Their pity is palpable, touchable
But she knows better
Her knowledge is endless

They think the world is moving so fast

But truthfully it spins more slowly than ever
What has it done in her lifetime
Flight, motorways,
Computers, colour television

Phones. And oh, oh the clothes.

Bent over, nearly double,
Brown skirt, brown jacket
Secrets hidden in shades of beige
And gilded, patterned, darned with age

Ah the life she has led,
She smiles into the pond
Hopes their lives are as bright as hers
As she pushes the trolley on.

I finally let me go

At fifty,
I tried to hold life still,
I found I couldn’t.
I couldn’t hold the line,
For a tiny moment longer.
It took too much to linger.

I let it go.

He was out in the garden.
I was eating lunch,
I packed a suitcase.
I dutifully made the dinner,
For Sunday and Monday night.
Left the key on the table.

And strolled out of my life.

I wandered across this earth.
Slept in odd places,
Lived out of my suitcase.
Severed all the lines,
Sailed out across the sea.
Played a thousand stories.

But none of them was me.

And then one day I wandered past.
A house that I had known,
I knocked on the door.
And the owners let me in,
It had been a life time I know.
Yet I wandered through that house.

In someone else’s clothes.

Another time and place.
Someone else’s story,
And someone else’s face.
I sat out in their garden,
I smelled the summer air.
All around me was familiar.

But was I ever really there.

I’m not sure if I existed.
I’ll never really know,
My feet are sore.
My heart is tired,
But all lined up in a row.
A thousand thoughts and feeling.

I finally let me go.