Margaret Alice Second

(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

No Hope Left (REVISED)


My office lights fixed with impressive efficiency
in 30℃, passing out from time to time, trying to
eat and drink to beat narcolepsy, higher degrees,
the more my head lolls on my neck, nothing can
keep me awake after dried fruit and soup

Coffee with milk makes no difference, it seems
best as lunch approaches to give in, sleep on my
desk, have already up-ended the kettle over my
legs, wish I were Mme Pompadour who decided
to stay at home instructing the doctor to request
sick leave because of blood pressure

While I’m here erupting in hot flushes, perspiring
to form a pool enough for a mouse, a Lori, a Duck
and a Dodo, pity I cannot shrink to join them in the
salty pool under my chair - I am growing instead,
everything I drink and eat adds to the girth of my
midriff, my equator is growing so wide

I cannot see my feet; like Alice I shall make them
gifts, sending a shoe for each - and a refrain from
a Beijing Hotel Brochure keeps playing in my mind:
‘When you leave at the end of your [work] day, you
will have no hope left and you will struggle to forget
[the terrible fight to the death…]’

11 September 2013

Submitted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Edited: Thursday, September 12, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

References made to Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carrol

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