Mrs Jarvis. Poem by Bryan Sefton

Mrs Jarvis.

She rides the bus to market
Gazing out upon the same old scene
Ever changing, never new.
Giving out the same old view
Wherever the difference lies
She looks with eyes unseeing
With a total loss of feeling
At the coloured posters screaming
'Look at me! Look at me! '
But she is past and all unknowing
All except the bus is going
Along the route that leads
To where she wants to be

The bus stops by the cemetery
And she rises in her seat
Looking out across the graves
To where her husband lies
She sees the plain white tombstone
That was paid for by his death
With the white of marble chippings
And her husband underneath
As he was those many years ago
And her mind goes back to him
To converse and share with him
The frustrations of the day
Hoping that he perchance reclines
In the empty seat by her side
That he needn't move simply reach across
And pluck her troubles away
Then seeing it as a weakness
Not deserving of an answer
She gives herself a mental smack
And slightly angry settles back
Thinking 'there are others more deserving than you! '

The market
The noise, the smells
The bargains, the barter
'Not today, but I'll have em tomorrow
Well please y'self love
You'll not get em' cheaper
No, I've not got the blue
But I've got it in red
One to that lady there
Give it her Free
Come close, come closer
And see what I've got
Now they're cheap
Because I wanna get rid of the lot
See? Now see?
Now aren't they nice?
You're wondering how
I can sell at this price
Now aren't you? Hey?
You lucky people
You don't know you're born
You just don't know you're born
Come here love, come here
I won't do you no harm!
Isn'tshe lovely hey?

Mrs Jarvis moves among the stalls
With eyes that search and sift
Then stop, then shift and know
An eye that knows the bargains
That are bargains
Not because of signs designed
To convince you they are true
They're not fooling you
Not the words nor the talk
Dressed to halt you as you walk
Not the showmanship
Nor craftsmanship
Not salesmanship
Not 'here's a lady! '
They're not fooling you
No amount of talking will deter you
Soft soap? No hope
Smiles won't beguile
Not waving hands
Or clapping hands
Will make you stay
Not even 'I'm bloody giving them away! '
They're not fooling you

Moving on
Shopping bag getting heavier
Legs getting tired they won't carry her
Must stop for a coffee in the cafe on the corner
And rest these weary feet.Oh, lovely relief!
Can't stay long there are things to do
The day won't stand still though you want it to
Oh! Blessed blessed relief
Look at that baby, look at her eyes
wide eyed in wonder. Full of surprise
'No mother, she's not troubling me
She'll break some hearts when she grows up
I say, she'll break some hearts, you'll see
If only the world can sort itself out
And give you a guarantee
Of something better. Something to hope for
They say we're moving forward
And they say that this is progress
But I've lived these eighty years
And it's still the same old mess
Same causes; religeon, politics, better waves

Forty years ago in, Cannon Street it was
On a bright and lovely day, not unlike today
A knock came to the door and Mrs Jarvis answered it
Telling the children to make less din
A man stood at the door, unsure, and asked if he may come in
'I'm from the pit' he said, as if that was a good enough reason
Then added hesitantly, 'it's your husband Mrs Jarvis'
She saw his face. She knew the look and the strain,
This man was about to pass on a great, great pain
'It's your husband, Mrs Jarvis' he said again
'He's had a bad accident. A very bad- - - '
Tears, tears, old old fears. I knew! Iknew!
But Lord, why make them come true?
Take him away! Take him away from my door!
Please Lord, no more. No more
He's still there? Lord, can't you hear me?
I'm saying a prayer!
No more! '

She looks down at the little girl
Pats her head and says
'we struggle through dont we?
We struggle through no matter what
Things go wrong but somehow we push
We push and somehow we get along
And that's all we can do
That's all we can do
But the good Lord keep it from you
little girl, oh! but you're lovely!
And rising with a sigh
Picks up her shopping from the floor
Moves to the door and is gone
The little girl spins on her heels
Showing pink frilly knickers as she bows to someone

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Topic(s) of this poem: memories

Bryan Sefton

Farnsworth near Bolton, England, UK
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