Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Pink T-Shirt

he liked to arrive at her door
ring the bell and wait

to see her face above him at the window
the eyes widen, the mouth an oh!

look through the keyhole
to see the joy of her

running down the stairs in a pink t-shirt
cupping each large unruly breast

not enough hands
to stop the smile on her face

                                   Mary McCallum

I wrote this poem over twenty years ago living in London. It is a true story told to me by my best friend's boyfriend. Sandra, my friend, was and remains to this day the personification of that gorgeous thing we call 'joy'.

Looking at the poem now, I see how slight it is and I am tempted to tinker, but to do that twenty years on makes it no longer 'Pink T-Shirt' but something else. It's as if lying in a folder with other unpublished poems all this time has set the words as jelly sets - it is no longer liquid to be stirred. I'm okay with that.

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Kay Cooke said...

Don't change a thing! It's perfect and just lovely the way it is. I love it.

Claire Beynon said...

A sweet homage to Joy and to Sandra, Mary - this slip of a poem no less full-breastedl because of its brevity. . It sets my no-longer-twenty-years-old-frame a-hum and a-hover!

Shape your final explanatory paragraph differently on the page and I think you might find you have the makings of another poem.

L, C

maggie@at-the-bay.com said...

Lovely , Mary, so glad you did not tinker - and do try Claire's suggestion with your last paragraph (comment about poem) - what lovely creative connections are occurring.

AJ Ponder said...

Yes, that ineffable tragedy to alter a moment in time. And yet you are a poet and so the temptation is always there.
It's gorgeous.
But just maybe there is room enough in both past and present and future, and in twenty years time the choice will be obvious :)

Mim said...

I agree with previous comments: leave the poem as it is--quick, with-it. Just right.

I wonder about "keyhole." Would it be possible to see all that thru a keyhole?

Yours for the fact in poetry

Mary McCallum said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments - I really appreciate your enthusiasm for the poem. I have taken to heart your comment Claire re. it being a slip of a poem and nonetheless full-breasted....! Funny how slips of poems can be that/do that even when they've had no 'life' for so long.

Interesting re. the keyhole Mim. The boyfriend claimed he could see a lot through that keyhole. It was a big old London flat with an old lock on the door ... perhaps I need 'old keyhole' which works in all sorts of ways.

Rachel Fenton said...

What a happy poem and a wonderful way to celebrate womanhood and a reminder that relationships can generate lasting loveliness.

Great that a place so rich with history as London could inspire a little bit of your own.

Penelope said...

Ha, lovely, and it makes me think of the unruly something happening to the ceiling in Pam's poem — in Cadence.

Tim Jones said...

Just perfect the way it is!

Pam Morrison said...

Mary, I love this poem.. can feel a celebration coming on for my own unruly bits. (The pink t-shirt tops it off. Gorgeous stuff!)

Unknown said...

Mary, this is so light and yet it has a weight, an ability to trail the imagination along behind it. Isn't that the goal of all poetry? It captures a time a place and a feeling.
It's beyond change now. Great stuff