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Bruce Adams Jul 2019
She collected lolly sticks,
        The ones with jokes on them:
        Why did the chicken cross the road?-type stuff,
Which she stained brown and used as floorboards
in her magnum opus.

The Tudor house was the best one.
It had servants’ quarters
And a kitchen with little hessian potato sacks made
of something or other she salvaged from
somewhere or other;
And the floorboards looked so real:
        painted lolly sticks
        but almost evoking the smell of varnish,
        layers of polish on a floor trodden by centuries
        in perfect miniature;

This was the last of the three
                                                or four
                                                        doll­s’ houses she built;
The devil’s work for her idle widow’s hands.
She built this one while you were entering your final
that doomed dance that sits so permanently
on your conscience
like a sack of compost
full of water.
        (I choose this simile only because
        I found this in my garden yesterday,
        and it was ******* heavy.)
On paper it was simple:
        You gave her your house,
        She gave you hers.

And so her house shrunk around her and
became a dolls’ house of your own making,
                        she saw your god-hands reaching in
to manipulate and
extort her.

She was wrong, of course.

You were making good on your promise.
You would come through for her in her frailty.
You did – but

it was a promise you made more to yourself than her,
And she let her illogical mind
        never analytical to begin with
        now razed and blinded by grief and loneliness
                        (there was nothing to work with)
poison your good deed,
you were both dolls now.

Eight years later she died lovelessly.

She retreated into her sitting room
        the only part of the house that stayed the same
        after you moved in –
                the walls closed in to contain it
                constrict it
a hospital bed and vinyl chair with commode,
and the brown laminate floor
        just like
        her lolly sticks.

You administered painkillers
Admitted the nurses
Negotiated with your estranged brother.

but her paranoia rotted everything
and your hands cared with compassion but not love.

Gone, now,
the dolls’ houses remain.
An inheritance of clutter
in a house you bought.

You answer the phone
      ­                                  aggressively.
You have been heaving the big one up the stairs
        that sack of compost
        that heavy conscience of yours.

You will be heaving those ******* dolls’ houses around
until I have to buy your house and care for you.
But I am telling you now:
        I am putting them in a skip
        the moment I have the chance.

They are not imbued with the joy they gave her
any more than
                        by keeping them safe from landfill
                        you can imbue them with the love you withheld.

They are painted lolly sticks and sewn hessian.
They don’t contain any more of her
than the bits of paper she kept
        passwords and bank balances
        dates and instructions for the Sky box
There is nothing left of her to protect now.

Open up the hinged false front,
                tip out the miniatures
                let the little figures be free,
                                be landfill
                                (isn’t that what dying is anyway?)
all the tangible things she touched and loved
are not avatars for her touch and her love.

The past is not present through the preservation of objects.
The past is not erased by the advancement of time
                nor can it be undone by corrective action.

Now she is on the other side of the road,
        (why did the chicken
She has no further use for the things she left behind.
SiouxF Aug 27
Those insidious beasts
Surreptitiously winding their tendrils
Through every orifice and vacuum,
Through every artery and vein,
Through every thought and word,
Till those two imposters
Guilt and shame
Are so embedded
One knows not where one begins
And the other ends
Nylee Aug 25
it could have been and I'd still be looking
In the universe for all the random signs
To justify me feelings, how it begin
And as it ended, how foolish I have been.

And in matters out of my hand, I have destiny to put my blame on
It is so easy to live like a human
To put past the still carrying guilt
which keeps getting heavier.
J-J Johnson Aug 14
Ode to the clouds of the far west
The rains that fell on the absence
Kept to grieve the sorrows of tomorrow

Ode to the waters of the blue seas
The waves that crushed on the bare soles
Left to sweat the love of the shy heat

Ode to the joys of the tears not cried
The smiles that faded with each warming heart
Bled to keep the life from the twinging strife

Ode to the war that never will end
The love that stokes the silent wails
Felt to **** the death of an aching soul
Lydia Aug 11
it’s the feelings of embarrassment
I have felt this before
now it rearing it’s ugly head again making me feel small
Im the size of an ant inside
people always do this to me
they always say they won’t or that they didn’t mean to
but I think that’s a lie and it’s human nature instead
it’s those small power trips someone gets from putting another down that carry most through life so they themselves don’t feel small too
Alex McQuate Jun 21
I'll never be a good enough partner,
I'm failing right out of the gate.

I let you down,
I see it in your eyes,
I breached that trust you had in me,
And didnt live up to my own ideals,
A moment of weakness,
A moment of idleness,
Looping in my brain,
**** this tormentable guilt!

You say I get stuck in my own thinking,
Like a bird that's fallen into tar,
But thinking back,
If my brain is the tar,
I need to clean it some dawn.

Please let this storm pass,
Let the thunder die down in my mind
Let the lightning strikes fade,
For all that's holy,
May you forgive my trespasses still,
Let me be the man you said I could be,
And fly free,
Above the ooze and filth.
your crackling, humming streetlight
bending bright and blue
I’ve never known a eye
to burn as hot as you

I've cut this trail in whiskey
I've lost an ugly war
you cut your beam against me
you cast my losing score

the bottle knows it’s shattered
it's fragments spark the ground
what else could you uncover?
all bodies have been found

I gave you my confessions
your file on me complete
you have no rope to hang me
or bind my hands and feet

I'll always find the shadow
then steal another day
your judgement fades in twilight
your flame is washed away
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