39 Degrees

39 degrees

 

Today I could cook my breakfast

on the pavement, spitting there,

between the doc ends and

discarded cheap-lager cans. Save

 

on the energy bills, al fresco

cuisine – dine with the homeless. The

eggs would gaze up at me like that

woman’s breasts sweating in her

 

Lycra, skimpy top. The sun has

hit pasty limbs hanging from

cheap shorts, chests bared to

the air – Men thinking that is

 

what we women want to see, as

we point, and ponder unbaked

baguettes. 39 degrees and we

are pink cuts on a butcher’s slab.

 

 

Skin at 1 a.m.

I have a teenager, he is 15 nearly. My husband (his dad) died when my son was 3 1/2, and I was there while they turned off the life support. It hit me hard and left me a bit neurotic. Every night, when my son is sleeping, I have to check that he is still alive. It is a deep fear of losing him. I wrote a poem…

Skin at 1 a.m.

Won’t be long now. Soon
you will be too big to be
holding hands with me.
I see beyond the tree

outside the window. 
The sky, infinite – must be 
a new moon as the stars
muse at the aloneness. 

I check you are breathing. 
Brush fingers onto your 
cheek. You wince and 
I know you are sleeping.

It is a strange fixation, 
fearing death in life. I 
feel your palm is hot and
your blood is warm and

you breathe. I am in 
my sanctuary, the rhythms 
of your chest rising
and falling, bringing me 

peace. 




©2022 Sarah Drury, all rights reserved

Old

You were 83,
And immediately I
Asked you about the war,
As if you were
An historical relic.
And I had visions of
Women painting
Stocking seams on legs,
And cans of Spam,
And dating an
American man.
But you were only
A kid.

You said you were lonely,
And you only
Came out to be
Amongst people,
And I realised
You were a church
Without a steeple,
As you pray
For souls,
For your empty days
To be made whole,
By the passers by,
And bus stop dwellers,
And anyone who
Has a pulse.

To be thanked for
Loosening my tongue,
And sitting a while
In a dual of ‘am’
And ‘was’ and ‘maybe one day’,
Sort of makes you
Feel bad;
This old lady, sad,
And happy,
Ricocheting fragments
Of a lonely life
Onto a mirror of
Empathy.
Beaming for the camera
That captures
Brave smiles,
And then putting away
Her lips,
As she doesn’t need them
When she gets home
To herself.

©️ Sarah Drury 2021

Tears

Tears


Don’t want to write
A sad poem,
But my eyes
Refuse to cooperate
With my
Polite smile
And weather worn
Bravado.


Feelings are seeping out
Of closets
Where I thought
I had sealed doors with
Art and beautiful music.
Thinking I had grown beyond
The tears.
But I hadn’t.
And haven’t.


I saw a homeless man
Yesterday.
His face a map of pain
And dejection.
And today the black girl
On TV,
With eyes that
Sold a charity,
And broke me.
And my tears feel like
Insignificance.
Like a first world indulgence.
Privilege.
But I miss you.

Sarah Drury, March 2021

The Ballad of the Pink Gin

There she was.
Venus as a gin.
Pink and glistening
like the elixir
of ambivalence.
That feeling you get…
when the frets
have stretched your
worried head,
and you need
an alcohol
anaesthesia.

She slipped into
my trolley.
All regal and
queenlike.
Not like the
proletariat breadloaf,
or the lower caste
regurgitated chicken roll.
She protested as
she slipped into
her carrier bag,
but I’m not paying
for elaborate horse drawn
carriages from the likes
of Tesco.

Try carrying 6 bags
of shopping on a bus,
so, I called a cab
to carry us,
my pink gin love
and I.
But you wouldn’t expect
to lose a friend
so soon
after bonding.
And manslaughter charges
don’t apply to
alcoholic beverages.
But our love lay
shattered. Crucified.
In shards of broken glass
dreams, and
pools of wanton
aspirations.

The taxi guy,
he pleaded guilty,
but I don’t like to
see people sad
and watching his regret
made me feel bad.
I want for nothing, really.
I don’t need his
sixteen pound fifty,
when he earns a pittance
and feeds a family.
Might be his gas money
for the week,
and I know from his eyes
he is sorry to his skeleton
and remorseful to
his guilty heart.

I hope the Tesco cleaners
gave my love a
regal funeral,
and there will be a lot
of merry birds
on Gallagher Retail Park
today!

Sarah Drury 2021