Monday, July 11, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Approaching or Reproaching 50

Or The Skin You’re In

On the eve of the party,
she says, ‘To hell with it,
why wear this old thing?’
She fossicks until she finds
     the photo of her perched
     on the picnic blanket
     in the wrap-around
dress. It was probably taken
after the three-legged race –
she’s grinning, and there’s
a kind of lightness you get
from running.
     Now she props up
     the photograph and sloughs
     off her skin no trouble
at all – it is
briefly opalescent
then collapses like Glad wrap
into a small hard ball – and
she’s poised, ready to slip
inside the skin of ’77.
     She fears it will be a tight fit,
     tighter than the top
     she wore to that party
when the boy crashed the motorbike,
and, concussed, gave her number
not his – oh, romance - to the bloke
in the ambulance.
     Playlist: If I Can’t Have You,
     You Sexy Thing, Pretty
     Vacant, You’re the One that
     I Want, Torn Between Two
     Lovers (Feeling Like A Fool).
But wait,
there’s no button, no hook, no eye,
no elastic, zip, velcro, belt
or safety pin, no seam or fold
or frayed end, no way to undo
or unpick the exuberant
picknicking skin.
     Ah, looks like she’s set for another night in.

                                                                     Mary McCallum 2011

Oh yes, it's one of those years I'm afraid (one of those weeks) - and I'm starting my celebrations with a poem right here.

Please (as a gift to me) flick through to the Tuesday Poem hub where the wonderful Aussie Chris Wallace-Crabbe is showcased, and then try at least one or two of the delights in the TP sidebar where there are so many wonderful Tuesday Poems every week. We can have a little dance over there together, share a drink ...

P.S. Tonight - Tuesday July 12 - Fiona Kidman (The Trouble with Fire) and Randell's writer in residence Peter Walker  (The Couriers Tale) are reading at Millwood Gallery, Tinakori Road Thorndon 6-7 pm with a glass of wine. I'll be there.


Kathleen Jones said...

Empathise with all this Mary - celebrate well!

Ben Hur said...

That's a lovely photo, Mary, so joyous.

There's a lot to be said for growing older, but I'm too old to remember any of it.

susan t. landry said...

it's true; if in growing older one sacrifices a few thin cracks in the facade for inner wisdom, it's a blessing. enjoy every second, mary! celebrate and honor life, as you do...i *know* you do!

Helen Rickerby said...

Happy birthday Mary! I hope you are very spoilt, and I hope birthdays are for you a time of appreciating what you have and planning what you want.

T. said...

Happy days Mary, and welcome to the club!

Ah, youth.....