clothes bank blues
clothes bank blues
early morning at the clothes bank,
filling the scoop, wondering
what will become of my
too-tight Levi 501s – black
and stretch-waist Terylene
‘sta-prest’ office slacks – grey.
will a sub-Saharan African?
cut a dash in them?
or some local street vagrant?
will they be pulped to newsprint?
sold on ebay? beats me.
Bermuda shorts – money wasted,
(I just don’t have the legs)
tumble in with;
Hawaiian shirts never worn –
black’s more me (I tend to ‘sombre’) ,
and optimistic flashy jackets,
heavy woollen overcoats,
no underpants (emphatically).
the scoop clangs – sounding
the knell of a desultory history.
I cannot pass on, tearfully,
a beloved partner’s
saturate with memories
of happy days together
before she succumbed to cancer.
no poignant recall
of the death-bed
her special friends attended.
no sideboard wedding photographs
or beach snaps of a Whitby holiday
grubbied by lip and finger marks.
no onyx brush with greying hair
tight-tangled in the bristles
lies cobwebbed on a dressing table.
no bottom drawer stows saucy underwear
bought on girlie-giggle trips to town
to spice up tipsy bedroom antics.
I have no battered shoebox collection
of breathless love notes tied with ribbon.
no lover’s called me from the kitchen,
‘want soldiers with your runny egg?’
commanded, ‘come and join me in the bath.
the water’s hot. I’ve saved you the tap end.’
complained about my clothes
scattered over the bedroom floor,
complained I left the toilet seat up,
complained I did not squeeze the
toothpaste out the proper way.
I’ve never bought roses on a whim
to delight a girl friend for a ‘darling’ kiss.
I have no forgotten anniversaries.
I will never be surprised by
a tingling sense of ghostly ‘presence’
heightened by the hint of fragrance
of one who died in pain,
died too young. died too soon.
I’ve no one to weep for, no one to mourn,
this is a blessing that has to be borne.
© coolhermit 2023
This is so well thought out. Sad but almost in a good way. No responsibilities but also no joys. This is a class piece in my opinion.
Thanks so much – I’ve just put up an edited version – I read and re-read it at least 100 times over the weekend and one or two lines seemed clunky/sticky – hopefully these are sorted out – the whole process ins ongoing 🙂
I see where you going with this. I think the changes add subtlety.