THE HOLDING PADDOCK – poetry compt. entry 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.
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