Friday, 1 January 2016

Poem 2016 / 001

Cemetery Visitor

Hair scarf tight over salon bleached curls
made to cut your appearance in half
but in reality it emphasises your age,
the skin sagging at your eyes, lips no longer
a window to the body.
You nod a Happy New Year
but your nose has turned purple from gout
or diabetes and it pulls my attention
from the limp and the carpet bag
and the flowered canvas slippers
are wet from the overnight rain.

A broken bone set incorrectly
leaves a trace on the skin;
bioarcheology of the human condition
who did this to you, and why?
Beneath the stringy flesh the bone
has calcified; thickened
around the break and pushed the muscle
into new positions. You're a martyr
to your knees these days, but
you still scrub the front step every Wednesday.

© Rachel Green 2016

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