a path well trod (venus in a red dress pt2)

the broken cello
sprawled on a pile
of flea market debris
caught Angela’s eye
as she rummaged
for carrots and cabbage for soup

its neck was snapped
she soon fixed that with
Christmas wrapping sellotape

and sat on her sunset balcony
miming – it had no strings –
to a Brahms quartet
on the wireless set

money was short, the rent unpaid
one room was all she could afford
until his promised cheque arrived

all was rosy
at the Baggot Street party
when she caught the eye
of a Dublin dignitary

those drunken orgies
all nighters in Dalkey!

when nature had its way
she lettered the painter
who promptly replied,
by way of a secretary,
promising Harley Street
and money to tide her over

‘I won’t leave you stranded, Macushla,
I’ll send you to my ‘London fixer’

the ‘fixer’ bodged the operation
Angela would never have children

how would she explain
her absence and pain
to her childhood boyfriend,
fiancé, Kevin?

the soup boiled over the Belling hob
pooling on the lino floor – in rage
the cello went over the balcony rail

she might have mopped the cabbage mess
but the wall covered
in playful puppy pattern
peeling brown stained paper
mocked her distress
the final straw –
she’d had enough

how had it come to this?
a back-of-house bedsit in Bognor Regis
without view of the sea
scrounged cigarettes from the other guests

dodging the concierge
withholding the rent
in case of emergencies

this is not what she expected
as the artful nabob
posed her in a shallow pool

‘you are Venus – I’m Botticelli’

and painted her naked
her long red hair flowing

next; in a bath of icy water

‘I am Millais – you be Ophelia’

she all but caught her death
of pneumonia

and the sex? nothing special
him another grope and grunter
hours of foreplay,
two quick thrusts
that was it – all over

and Kevin? Kevin was never the wiser

Angela downed the last of her gin
left the soup staining the floor
tip-toed past the concierge door

the overdue rent would pay her way back
to take her chances with her man in Dublin.

© coolhermit 2023
Views: 429
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I need to read part 1… – this reminded me of a Scottish singer I like -it’s so story and I could hear it like a ballad- super —>


I read it – goodstuff. Next time will read it the right way round!

Flag Content