Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday Poem: So sweet, so cold

The thing is, and this
is the thing,

you think you know
a person, then

you turn up one day
and she’s

on the phone.

it under her chin
she gestures for you

to follow, opens the freezer,
takes your hand, places on

the palm a single lolly
heart. Closing

your fingers around it with hers,
she takes another for herself

and leaves you alone,
aniseed on your tongue --

cold, very cold.

There's a tin of catfood on
the kitchen bench, a half-made

pie, a list of things to buy,
a child's drink bottle (pink).

You can tell by the way
the conversation’s going

that when you’ve finished
the heart, she’ll still be

talking, and you’ll have
to go. A half wave,

extravagant eyebrows,
pointing at the wrist. It’s

easy enough to find the bag,
between the frozen

peas and a haunch of beef.
You say later you were

in two minds:
maybe it would be kind

to leave a note
like that guy

with the plums.
But you couldn't

find paper
or pen

Mary McCallum

Another old poem given a facelift - old as in sitting on the computer for a little under a decade. Happy with it now, and thrilled too that my poem 'Bidding' posted last week has been selected for an upcoming edition of Poems in the Waiting Room - a fantastic project that began, I think, in the UK, and has been taken up in NZ with gusto by Ruth Arnison.  I have also been asked by another poetry visionary, Mark Pirie, to send some poems to him for an upcoming edition of Broadsheet.  Must get onto that. All pretty bloody exciting. 

Go and visit the Tuesday Poem hub and find a whole host of other wonderful poems in the sidebar there. 


Jim Murdoch said...

William Carlos Williams was the first poet I discovered on my own after leaving school. His straightforward poetry was such an eye-opener. I never set out to mimic his style but I did write this little poem to acknowledge him. It was the first poem I ever had published in the States in the unfortunately-named Bogg.


         (in memoriam W.C.W.)

        There are plums
        in the fridge:

        will be
        a night

        for writing

        17 July 1989

I like your poem. It improves after a few reads.

Helen Lowe said...

Mary, may I say ... I found 'So sweet, so cold' pretty per-lurry good on even one reading. Such a great feeling, to take out that old poem and 'nail it.'

susan t. landry said...

it's so visual, actually quite sensual, touching lightly on several senses. lovely. a keeper! (don't stuff it in the deep freezer...)

Ben Hur said...

Love your poem, Mary, and congratulations on the Broadsheet and "Bidding" successes.