Thursday 26 November 2009

#22 - Sestina For Your Mum

Each night, she’d trudge home sluggish and shagged
From the shop floor, wave ta-ra with work-leathered palm to Roger,
Angus, Trevor, board her bus; a journey taken to the bum
Score of phone wire Jays and foil-cap foiling Blue Tits,
Milky-beaked and shrill as the hot, grime-shafted
Axles grinding, grinding, refusing to keep mum.

A stinking palanquin to a familiar door and cries of: ‘Mum!’
Sticky mitts padding cold coat, the huff of coarse-shagged
Sheepdog, wet-plodding, tongue-lolling through narrow-shafted
Banister rails. Your father’s grin-greeting was a wan Jolly Roger
As he scrubbed at the brown-speckled roasting pan. ‘Shit – it’s
Baked on!’ he’d cuss, cursing his ostensible bum

Luck now she was in earshot, hoping to bum
Help from the children’s more capable mum.
Your mum. So she would scrub each pot. ‘It’s
Okay,’ she’d say, while Dad lit an amply-shagged
Pipe bowl, puffed peaty clouds, asked after Roger,
Trevor, Angus. Never her. In the moonlight-shafted

Kitchen she scrubbed alone; her wrists felt glass-hafted
In the tepid sink water. Your Dad would snore like a bum,
Snort-splutter short bursts like a radio: ‘Roger!
Low visibility...’ Snippets from his RAF days; a maximum
Of four words before they dissolved into a shagged,
Sleep-drugged drawl. Your father dreamt. It’s

Hard to say of what; perhaps volleys of Great Tits
Hurtling through sun-uddered cloudbanks like plump-shafted
Arrows; maybe a basset hound, asleep on a lavishly-shagged
Hearth rug, or the muted bi-bum, bi-bum, bi-bum,
Of a distant brass band’s bass drum; certainly, your mum
Did not know. Bathing her wrists, she’d think of Roger

From the shop; tall, kind-eyed, slow moving Roger,
Who once, all auditorium-mouthed, told her: ‘Don’t fret. It’s
A fog-swirled and seasick thing, being “Mum”;
A sour draft and a bronze and silver shafted
Gift; a straight flush from a dirty deck and a bum
Deal designed to leave you woe-drunk and shagged.’

Of course, they shagged. She begged him to roger
Her up her slack bum. He squeezed her tits –
That is, I did, son. I’m Roger. I shafted your mum.

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