Martha was my very soul,
in female form.
From the moment I saw her
I ‘knew’ her. I loved her.
We ‘danced’ in other places –
far beyond mere ‘love’.
Our first kiss – in a sunshine garden.  
I gazed into her dark, smiling, eyes
as she lowered her face to mine
and was swept in a tide
of deathless bliss.
When the cool damp of her lips
impressed my cheek
my heart forgot to breathe.
Chaste devotion gave way to lust:
We made love, coupling ‘spiritually’,
in every room of her house.
And after?
Gaze at each other,
lick the sweat and tears,
gently fall into sleep.
Meanwhile at my place
we went ‘at it like rabbits’,
and after?                                              
I’d roll a joint, pass the vino,
and start all over again.
She fell pregnant – I made plans:
Sell up? Buy a cottage
Ireland, maybe,
I fancied Killarney.
Chopping winter woodstove logs
writing poetry
home schooling
a garden swing,
a tiddler stream.
The stuff of dreams.
A new born was not on her agenda,
while making love slow and tender,
she slapped my shoulder,
“Not so gentle – fuck me harder!
I’m not pregnant anymore.”
I kissed her eyes,
no salty tears –
her cheeks were dry.
“You miscarried?”
“It’s not the right time to be a mother,
I got rid of ‘it’ – paid by Visa.”
I climbed from her bed,
walked from her house,
into winter
aching with
loss and loneliness.
Martha suggested a Solstice convergence.
“We’ll go together, you and me,
I went last year
took a guy named Barry.
What a loser!
There’s naked yoga.
A communal yurt.
A sacred sweat lodge –
we roll in the snow
then wash in the river
and come out re-birthed.”
Some salient points about me:
My chest ain’t hairy,
my legs are scrawny,
I am small (but nimble)
not porky and sporty
and I don’t want re-birthing.
“Public nudity, Martha? Not my scene.”
Martha patted my arm,
“Size does not matter,
and naked snow-rolling’s
a great leveller.”
Dignified by body paint,
I huddled in a shady corner
of the sacred sweat lodge
my eyes fixed to the ground,
to avoid ogling tattooed tits
and comparing swinging manhoods
with my own.
A drumming shaman,
“Call me Red Hawk”
(real name Kevin)
started chanting –
all joined in,
“Om Mani Padme Hum.”
Flashing eyes snaked the steam –
nailing après snow-romp couplings.
Martha, chanting, smiling winsomely
winked alluringly – at Kevin,
not at me.
The next time I saw Martha,  
she sat beside Kevin at dinner, 
wearing twin smug smiles
among patchouli oozing
Earth mothers and dreadlocked boy-men,
sipping organic Pinot Noir
sharing tales of birthing pools, 
and mingling auras.
I sat sulking in the corner.
Martha’s voice stabbed the room,
as she proclaimed the joys of motherhood.
“I love pregnancy,
nothing fulfils me like
nourishing a child in my womb…
Gifting life to the world
to shape a new Earth…
is our ‘wo-manifest’ destiny.”
I swallowed rising bile
as the daughters of Gaia,
and docile partners,
clustered Martha, adoring her
hugging her, kissing her.
Martha’s after-dinner aria
broke the camel’s back.
I packed my rucksack,
leaving body paint and
‘free love’ yurt behind.
I spent all winter trying to fathom
where to stake the blame
for that latest
in my line of disasters.
Perm any two from three,
Martha, the Visa card, even me?
I added the baby
to the equation
and pimped the wager
to a Yankee.


© coolhermit 2023
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