Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Love the Glove

The day is cracking open, but I
let her sleep. It is not a day
for waking.

The rain is cold on the windows,
but not in my hair, I sit where
it used to fall,

the wetness swelling pages,
chilling walls. How many times
did I wring

the neck of the sodden cloth, and
tip wrung water from the bucket?
The weather

is sharp-tongued at the windows –  
it’s not a day for waking.
I put my feet

on the heater we found
at the tip. Lifted tenderly,
it was light

as a baby, clean and white,
now it pulses  
like skin.


on our hands, we heaved her things
from my car: musty mattresses,
rusty roofing

school projects, picture frames, Cuisine
magazines, a bag of clay.  Once
I went

on my own with a load of his shoes.
Each one worn in its own way.
It took a long

time to throw them pair by pair
into the clothing bin, its
metal mouth

nipping my wrist each time, the thud
each time. I’m glad she didn’t come
for that. My


are cloth lavender, hers thick rubber
and red. She could only ever find one.
She held

her naked hand like a saint, the other
doing the work of two –
a potter’s hands:

dark-skinned and nimble. Load upon
load into the bowels of the concrete
loading bay –  

the boy on the ramp gloveless
and helpful, the two of us
delighted by

the detritus – the potential
for treasure, load upon load until
the blue house

was stripped clean, and locked with a key
on a string around her neck. The last
thing she’ll do

is put the cat in the cage, and
the cage in the car. But it’s not
a day for waking.

Her back seat is stuffed with old
suitcases, vintage skirts, an iron
pot, notebooks –

where for the cage? I'll help
with the cat; we’ll both
need gloves

for that. The red glove is on
the floor of my car – a fantastic

I have no idea where my
gloves are. Let her sleep.
Light pisses

from the sky, but it’s not a day
not any kind of day
for waking.

Mary McCallum

Do check out the fantastic poem by David Gregory on the Tuesday Poem hub - and in the sidebar: such gems as always - from one of my faves by Yeats to Orchid Tierney's avant-garde poems. All worth a look on a Tuesday. 


Unknown said...

Lovely, lovely poem...such resonance, such subtlety of touch. Wonderful.

Jennifer Compton said...

oh splendid! - just so right - wunderbar - very thrilling and chilling

(ps got server problems on my blog - that weird ever-turning circle so can't post this week - i tried to and it went awol, so i deleted, but i see somehow there is something on the sidebar, can you delete?)

Mary McCallum said...

Thanks Damyanti - what a lovely blog you have, I am interested to see you are writing flash fiction which I had a go at (see previous post.) I'd love to see some of your efforts up on the blog. It's challenging I think.

And thanks Jen (you're up early!) Your post came up on the Tuesday Poem hub as a draft, it's now deleted. Do you want to try again on your blog? (The sidebar link simply points to last Tuesday's poem. ) And it occurs to me you'd like flash fiction as a poet and fiction writer - I think that combination works well for flash fiction. The BNZ awards have a 150-word category this year.


Helen Lowe said...

I like this poem, Mary: it feels poignant, full of meaning that I understand emotionally but guess at intellectually. Great stuff.

Orchid Tierney said...

beautiful rhythms, thanks for sharing.

Kathleen Jones said...

I love poems with a narrative - and the way you used the glove as a linking image all the way through.