Andy Brookes

Gold Star - 37,995 Points (11 May 1954 / Macclesfield)

Just This Side Of Sadness - Poem by Andy Brookes

Thursday turns
i see you sitting,
poker straight.

acid lips,
hair regimented,
no strays allowed.

your acrid eye
ever conscious
in studied superiority
surveys the room with distaste.

you glace in my direction,
nod imperceptibly.
an acknowledgment
of my presence.
you smile
not reaching your eyes.
hurrying forward
i kiss your proffered cheek.

coffee? i ask
no tea.
any thing to eat
a negative.

i return with our drinks
a plate of macaroons
time expands
the biscuits
lie between us a barrier.
careful of our relation ship
now dried to fragility,
heavy with the weight
of our shared past.

you eye me
with your cross-hair gaze,
sad judgmental,
tinged with pity.

you break the truce
usually have digestives
you pick up a macaroon
examining it
an alien thing, nibble it
and sniff.

hows dad? i ask
John down the roads married
Oh i say.
reloading a salvo you shrug
never too late is it?

No i say.
my singleness
still a thorn in her side.
a ritual we go over
the same worn arguments.

she finishes her tea,
delicately wipes her lips,
i feel like a failed job applicant.
she reapplies a thin layer of lipstick,
smacks her lips in satisfaction and rises.

think on what i've said,
see you Sunday for lunch?
i nod, help her
on with her coat.
she proffers her cheek.
i kiss its soft wrinkled surface
smelling of soap and face powder.
she walks away,
no backward glance,
a queen among serfs.

guilty, i sigh in relief
and return to work.

Topic(s) of this poem: life

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 16, 2016

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