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THE HOLDING PADDOCK – poetry compt. entry 2016

August 7, 2016

The Holding Paddock

She messaged me overnight,

Our old friendship recently renewed

Thanks to Google,

It seems I have a shorter journey than first thought.


Life was a party back then, we dressed with care.

Drove too fast, drank loudly, laughed often

Rated ourselves –



The farm lush in sunshine as I set off

In the corner paddock, our neighbour’s lone cow

Ancient parched skin drawn across sunken hind,

Old eyes turned towards the cattle-yard ramp, waiting.


My friend, hair faded, eyes dull, she moves with care.

Baggy clothes so unlike her stylish norm

Hide tubes of poison swelling her body,

Had it with hospitals, she said.

old ladies on couch






Tea grows cold, biscuits lie forlorn

They call this seaside town the holding pen you know,

I want to grasp her weak laugh

It’s so good to see you.


Goodbye was a word we never used

It sat silently on the couch between us

Leave as if you’re coming back



Can’t recall the highway home until the last bend

Wipers battling with sudden rain

Seal turns to metal turns to mud,

At the gateway fresh tyre marks curve into the distance.


© Susan Berry



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