Nancy with the Laughing Face

This is a deeply revised version of an earlier pome here. 

Nancy with the Laughing Face


Every year around this time
past mid-winter but not yet spring
I think of Nancy.

I clear junk off the armchair 
she rescued from a skip 
restoring it with red chenille.

I pull the chair to face mine
and imagine Nancy sitting there
cross legged, smoking ganja.

That is how we used to sit,
face to face, close up,
with the stove between.

That stove is a bastard to light,
when Nancy rolled a spliff, lit that
and told me to chill, I nearly exploded.

The blue-grey smoke
curling from the chenille nest and
Nancy’s raucous laughter filled the room.

I kicked the stove in frustration,
all but busting a toe, and
Nancy said she wet herself.

She opened a tin of ‘Quality Street’, 
dropping wrappers that lay like gems 
on the Persian carpet floor.

I knelt before her 
scooping the wrappers
like a pirate at plunder.

Nancy stretched a leg,
rested her foot on my head,
called me ‘slave’, and snickered.

We spent whole evenings
in silent communion,
watching flames dancing.

I stoked the stove,
thought philosophical thoughts,
and got smashed on whiskey – mostly.

Nancy, chuckled, smoked ‘green’,
raided the fridge for ‘Turkish Delight’, 
and sat all evening munching.

A creeping tide of rumour
alleging infidelity – lapped at 
our sandcastle life together.

I blamed Nancy – she blamed me,
Our future plans, kids, a mortgage,
proper jobs, were going up in flames.

We brooded through Christmas
becoming the saddest couple we knew.
I blew my cool at the ‘Roses’ wrappers.

“Must you always make a bastard mess?”

Nancy pressed her lips together
emerged from the chenille sanctuary
and stormed out into January.

Every year around this time
past mid-winter but not yet spring
I think of Nancy with her laughing face.


© coolhermit 2023
Views: 664
no comments or critique sought.
Flag Content