Black

It was a black day
and it was a BLACK day
I, the newly widowed
clothed in blackbird feathers
Shining like a mirror
reflecting fallacies
not faces
Swathes of blackish sorrow
consumed my
eiderdown of grief
Whilst collective tears
pooling
at my crushed stiletto feet
like seas of emotional
effluent
How many truly cry
when others
snivel in consolation?

*

Coffins muffle the
sonority of
grieving mouths
Damping down the
exaggerated pulse of
blood red hearts
Barriers to paradise lost
remind the dead
not to breathe
For death is
breath without lungs
and mortality is life
without living

*

We didn’t have a church
for you would turn
in your fire-ash not-grave
Phoenix smiting from
the flames
the Godly fallacy
Singing godless psalms
of Elbow
and Eva Cassidy
I wished I’d listened
to your heart
for the reggae in your soul
I painted on my face
of have no feelings
Cherry lips set in
a rigor mortis pout
Spider eyes kept dry by
waterproof mascara
Emotion
Emotion
Emotion
Less

*

And my love is
ash
I am married to
a brown plastic urn
And the wedding rings
don’t fit anymore
Me with my
disconsolate finger
You with your hands
busy playing harps
in Heaven

©2020 Sarah Drury

Father

My father was
an accountant
Man of many vices
But he loved us
to the grave
Coffin in the flames
I waited for a phoenix to
emerge
But got Pompei

Juggling booze
and fags
and indiscretion
Libido painted
as a female fuck
Alibis weaved like
religious confessions
sliding off a
secular tongue

Thirty three years
gone by
History repeats
like an acid reflux
deja vue
And they say
my son needs
a father figure
And I say
fuck the patriarchy
I am all the man
he needs

©2020 Sarah Drury

I was Alice’s Aunty Once

When I was a teen, I worked in a home for the elderly. One of the old ladies had dementia…

Fourteen years old
And radiating a future
Of fruitful tomorrows
In this graveyard for
The not yet dead
With the old bones
Rattling around in this
Old people’s home
One ear on the
Monotonous drone
Of dead eyed visitors
And one eye on
The steady tock
Of the analogue clock
As death permits
A last cup of tea

They had memories – Once
But these were stolen
And minds were broken
Words come tumbling
Out like retrospective
Dramas spoken
Wartime lovers
Dancing with hope
This hopeless dance
With feet that may not
March next week
As they savour
The last of their rations

I was Alice’s aunty once
As I led her to her
Favourite chair
Skin so parchment thin
Her story was written
In the spiderlike veins
And downy hair
Eyes trusting as a child
That thinks it’s going
To Paris
But is cruelly going
Nowhere decent
Nowhere they could feast
On warm croissants

I wondered
Was this aunt
Loved
And hoped that
I could share a bit
Of my naïve heart
I prayed I could lovingly play
A nurturing movie star
In her world of
Broken dolls and
Tattered teddy bears
Where she was now
The child
And I, the child
Was now
Very grown up
Indeed.

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Daddy

My husband died 9 years ago so not only was it my loss, but my 3 year old son’s too. He has never really spoken about his father before, it is as though he never existed at times, but the other day, when it was our 10th wedding anniversary, my son’s grief suddenly hit him and came out in a huge torrent of emotion. It was a liberating event for him, but devastating at the time, for both of us. I have written this simple poem for him.

To see you
Bleeding your
Heart out
There, son
With your tears
For daddy
9 years gone
His body now
Ashes in urns
Feelings exploding
In turns
of Rage
And sorrow
Crying for a father
For who there’s
No tomorrow
Holding hands
With thin air
Wish I could
Borrow
A future
For you
And daddy

You said you feel
Cheated
9 years passed
When you could
Have amassed
Memories
Moments that last
Forever
Rage
When you’re at
A stage
Going into puberty
You missed all that
Sitting on
Daddy’s knee
And I’m trying to see
How I can make
It up to you

I want to mend
Your broken heart
Fix the trauma
Of being apart
From him
From the man who
Was our rock
Who stood by us
Through thick
And thin
Who passed away
And could
Never say
“I love you son”
And you were
Too young
To comprehend
It’s sad that
Our love had
To end

All I can do is
Hold you close
Son
Salve your
Broken tears
Try to be the most
Empathetic mother
For there is
No other
Now
It’s just me
And you
So sorry, Kid
There’s nothing
On this Earth
I can
Do.

© 2020 Sarah Drury

A Fag, a Joke and a Natter

Happy anniversary in heaven to my husband. Would’ve been ten years today. You were very poorly but we had our love. A very ordinary, working class kind of love but beautiful all the same.

You were nearly broken
But we’d make do
A fag, a joke
A natter
A bit of
Something risqué
A bit of
Something blue
With our
Afternoon brew
We needed that
It saw us through
The shit

We didn’t have
Much time
Together
In this world
Just a few years
I’d call you
My stud
You’d call me
Your girl
I didn’t know
How quickly
Things would unfurl
I was naïve

You were nearly broken
But we lived
Our lives
Like Romeo
And Juliet
Declaring our love
Over a bacon baguette
And a bit of Sky
Tv not
The romantic
Outdoor kind
When your
Body’s fucked
And it’s
Benson & Hedges
That are
Silver lined
With
Imminence

You were nearly broken
But you were
Immaculate
To me
It only took
A shattered mirror
So that all your
Perfect fragments
That the world
Barely
Got to see
Were picked up
In your
Darkest hour
Piece
By broken piece
By me

I broke

©2020 Sarah Drury