(a) broken home

recent reworking

broken home
each night repeats the one before;
the pub and back to an empty home,
to sleep on a sheet-less single mattress
the dirty washing heaps smell sour –
maybe the launderette… tomorrow.
I had a cat – what’s happened to her?
the sink is stacked with a greasy pile
of chipped enamel mugs and plates
and black-bottomed pots and pans
I’ll wash them next time I wake up sober
I wanted a lover – but settled for lovers;
wine, women, and the ‘walk of shame’
from the beds of one-night stand
school-gate single-mothers:
them whispering from the pillow,
‘close the door gently as you go –
mustn’t wake the kids too early.’
or strangers, legless on Bacardi,
who’d remember me as,
‘some bloke I dunno, maybe…
I think… I might… have shagged one night.’
married women occasionally,
winked assignations
over skinny lattes –
on a strictly casual basis
no glance of recognition
when paths crossed out of the blue,
at a buffet party or a leaving do; 
 ‘could you pass the veggie pâté?’
‘the pleasure’s mine.’
‘glass of sherry?’
‘thank you. so very kind.’
memories, memories;
Sara’s beach-baptism at South Bay Scarborough;
her crotch-deep rejection of the ‘works of Satan,’
her holy ‘hallelujah’ as the pastor
thanked the Lord and dunked her under
Satan’s ‘works’ had been fine by Sara,
four times, or five, just one week earlier
a wedding late October,
Fliss in a stately
haute couture satin dress,
mother-in-law fascinator,
and implausible air of
orgulous dignity –
hard to square
with the hotbed-wildness
I kissed ‘goodnight, sweet dreams’
and closed the bedroom door on
sometime mid-September
after a traditional
reception sequel;
a drunken hotel fumble
with the bouquet catching
early hours heading home
I stopped at the fish-quay
to buy cod heads for Coco
I hope she’s still around

© coolhermit 2023
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