Dog Fears

It’s okay, I say quietly,
it’s only a plastic bag.
But he isn’t convinced,
goes to his bed.
Then I bring out the Hoover;
he rushes into the back room.
I massage his silky head
as he escapes into sleep,
whimpers his way to a safer place
until he fireworks begin and
he is at my feel all aquiver.
I tell him I understand the firework thing;
they make me nervous too.
I gently lift his ear, whisper,
(so the cats can’t hear)
I do understand you know,
how frightening life can be,
about courage, and how
it isn’t the absence of fear
but being brave enough to
walk through it anyway;
you are doing just fine.


Sunday mornings

Chapel was compulsory
in our household
unless you were nearly dead
which was how I often felt
after Saturday night
at the youth club
or to be more precise
The Red Lion Pub.

If you don’t come then
you’ll peel all the vegetables
for dinner
difficult choice.

God didn’t approve of jeans either
unless you were catholic,
then he didn’t mind one way or another.
But we were Methodist to the core;
a weekly dose of pleated obedience –
below the knee.

Arrows of hell fire and damnation
fired from the pulpit
aimed solely at me
because I was the one
who didn’t want to be there
and God knew it;
I was marked down in his
little book of badness every week.

But even if God hated me
attendance was rewarded;
one more reprieve
for that day at least
from the ever increasing
slipperiness of the slope
I was now on, heading toward
parental shaking of heads
and the shameful label of
“bitter disappointment”
which was the last thing in the world
I would ever want to be
because that would mean
I had failed.


Mirror – (Sonnet)


Bevelled edge of leafy flowers and vines
a keepsake that I hang upon my wall.
This mirror that I see before me shines;
it seems the years were minutes after all.
Sweetest face you are never far from me,
memories like a favourite food each day
and in my heart I know I’ll ever see
the way you always helped me find my way.
And now that time has passed and you are gone
I see a person looking back at me,
she’s older wiser and a little drawn
and though I know it’s me who I can see
you’re looking back and smiling at the grey
and in this glass it’s you I see each day.

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