A Shameless Thief Poem by Chris Zachariou

A Shameless Thief

Rating: 4.9

Waking up from a drunken stupor
she looks around her shabby room.

Ashtrays full, plates piled in the sink
and a mattress with soiled bed sheets
—her faithful and trusted servants—
torn from years of loveless coupling.

A quick shower behind the mouldy
curtain with cheap soap, cheap shampoo
and an even cheaper scent;
into a bra that's a size or three too small
and a skirt that's been too short for years.

She smokes a roll-up and drinks raki
until she hears her cue for work—
a ship's horn blowing in the distance.
Gasping for air, rank with stale tobacco
and laced with shattered dreams, she opens
her front door and waddles to the harbour.

She recalls her wrecked and wasted life.
First the fear, the panic and the shame
then the buzz, the laughter and the thrills;
until Time —deceitful and a shameless thief—
stole her youth away.

Each night brought a new assault.
Every morning she nursed
the battle scars from the night before
—a small blemish on her flawless skin,
a grey strand in her wild black mane—
until one day the face she saw in the mirror
was not her face anymore.

She gazes at the lilacs of the sea
and listens to the noise, savouring
the odours of all the sailors passing by.

Such a sweet aroma. Her head feels light
and maybe because of the bottle of raki
or the warmth of the late Mediterranean sun
she drifts into a rumbling reverie.

In her much loved and much-kissed body
all the hurt and pain are now gone.
Old lovers' faces rise in her wrinkled mind—
kings, Bedouins and sultans;
black, white and yellow faces, merge
and she is seventeen and beautiful again.

She dreams and writhes on a rotting bench
until a group of sailors come passing by.
They stop and stare at the old wreck and
—merciless youth— they jeer and mock her.

She wakes and hears their ridicule
the laughter and the heartless jibes.

With tears in her jaded eyes
and cursing the cruelty of the young
she takes the road to the sanctuary
of her seedy room, grieving for the day
that ended before it even had begun.

Friday, May 31, 2019
Topic(s) of this poem: life,sadness
Jane Campion 06 August 2019

A well imaged poem. Time takes everyone fools and all. A poem that is an exemplar for all aspiring poets. Congratulations.

3 1 Reply
Chris Zachariou 06 August 2019

Thank you Jane for such an encouraging and kind comment.

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Jane Campion 06 August 2019

To my favorites. I need to learn from you.

3 1 Reply
Chris Zachariou 06 August 2019

Thank you so much. A very kind comment.

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Bernard F. Asuncion 06 August 2019

A well written wonderful poem of the day. Congrats, sir Chris on your selected piece...10+++

3 0 Reply
Deepak Kumar Pattanayak 06 August 2020

Yes time- the deceitful and shameless thief steals sway youth and almost everything.....very well crafted and touching......10++ ..

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Mahtab Bangalee 06 August 2020

This is mind this is mind of love mind of infatuation mind of hypnotizing it steals everything slowly, very slowly step by step beyond of knowledge with subconscious This subconscious mind is thief, a shameless thief of beautiful life......

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Mahtab Bangalee 06 August 2020

delineating a beautiful sad story poem wonderfully disclose the character of Shameless Thief She wakes and hears the ridicule the laughter and their heartless jibes. With tears in her faded eyes and cursing the cruelty of the young..... beautiful poem; congrats for being selected this poem as POD second time

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Lyn Paul 06 August 2020

A captivating poem that makes one see every luxury they have. Heartfelt words indeed.

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Deepak S S 06 August 2020

Congrats for honors.

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