A Rewrite of a poem lurking in my dusty recesses. This was loosely inspired by a gorgeous  neighbour who loves her pets – her family – I would not dream of treating her as this pome might indicate  🙂



Sadie was eighty when she stopped counting.

Eighty suited her nicely

so she got there and stayed.

I was her acting amanuensis – unpaid.


She got flustered over much but not overmuch.

When she had forms to fill or worries over bills

begging letters from charities,

unentered lotteries ‘won’,

piling the floor at her front door

she’d hang out a sign

and I’d pop in for a cuppa and

bring my shredder


Sadie made cinnamon tea – with a little honey.

And offer me crumpets.


“I know you like a nice bit of crumpet,” she’d go.


And I’d call “Matron!”

And we’d chuckle together.


She had two ways of smiling;

Teeth out or teeth in.

‘Out’ was the general rule

She would say sorry for gurning, going,


“Bleeding teeth. I put them down somewhere

and I’ve lost them agin’.”


Then off to the larder muttering,

“Crumpets? Teeth? Where the bleedin’ ‘ell are you?

I swear I bought crumpets yesterday.”


I said nothing about the dentures

In a glass on the drainer

Nor the crumpet, on my plate.

Nor mention her encroaching dementia of late.


Instead, I said,

“I could murder a muffin. You got a lovely muffin, Sweetie?”

“Oooh you saucy bugger! You’ll be the death of me.”


And Sadie swiped the back of my head lightly

Like my mother did – but spitefully.


Sadie was a regular shoplifter

in a cardie, pyjamas

And the Pirelli pink slippers,

I bought for her last Christmas.


She said, without bitterness or vanity,

that she had never dallied with a man,


“God wanted me all for Himself so he made me ugly

to keep them buggers away.”


Occasionally… she would stare,

a faraway look into nowhere.


“Who’ll look after my babies when I’m gone?”


Sadie’s ‘babies’, their ashes anyway, were displayed,

on shelves in a repro art deco vitrine.


Mango, Smudge and Delphine,

Who popped her head through the door

while sniffing for grounded  fledglings

Gobbled Mango’s pilchards – John West, the best.

And Smudge’s favourite chicken breasts

And stuck around.


Bar the ‘casket three’

I was Sadie’s family.


She said in passing I’d inherit the lot,

“When I go, you get everything I’ve got.”


I said, “ what about a picnic at the gorge?

It’s a lovely place…a lovely day.

You could bring your girls and say your goodbyes

Spread their ashes on the river

You’ll feel better then

You’re such a worrier.”


Sadie brightened,

“Lovely place…lovely day,

I’ll take the girls – say goodbye.”


I wrapped the caskets

Put them in a wicker basket

And stowed a stool in the boot

“To keep your bum dry, Sweetie,

don’t want you getting piles now, do we?”


Sadie went, “Cheeky monkey” and clipped my ear lightly

Like my mum used to – but she did it spitefully.


We sat at a spread plaid blanket

gorging shrimp paste and cottage cheese sandwiches.

Sipping tea – hers fortified with more than a tot of whisky.


“C’mon, Sadie, time to say goodbye.”

Sadie tottered across to the dry stone wall

I carried the basket with the caskets

fetched the stool and balanced her,

unsteady, aboard.


I said ‘a few words’ as she tipped the ashes,

And hoisted her high to watch her babies

Twinkling to the river below.


As Sadie wiped her tearful eyes,

Bees swarmed around or maybe flies.


Amid the hurly-burly 

A heavy thump  

Or maybe more

Behind her ear

Sent Sadie’s dentures,

Then her, clattering


Out of reach.


Sadie was nowhere to be seen

Except for a smudge

That might have been her

floating up, or possibly down,


© coolhermit 2023
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Nothing like a dusty recess and i just love that noun: amenuensis! The brutal detached biddycide denouement caught me out nicely though. Mitch


We’ll all be Sadies in the end…


Gulp! Poor Sadie. Anyone got a hankie?

(Meant in the nicest possible way, of course.)

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