my mirror speaks the truth
it shows me middle-aged, paunchy,
going to seed – no big deal
my Christmas feast, chicken stew
(with broccoli and brussels sprouts),
is burning on the cooker hob
there’s last year’s pack
of crackers somewhere –
I’ll eat dinner in a paper hat
then watch the Queen and
lose myself in television
trying to forget standing at
my lover’s house in siling rain
pebbling her window
half-praying, half-begging,
please let me in
walking home rejected
wanting to weep
but no tears came
I had been a mere extra,
in her tacky soap opera,
seduced by smooth-tongued
baroque pillow-talk
“we’ll breakfast on lobster
in a hot air gondola
watching wild beasts roaming
the sunrise plains of Africa”
“we’ll sail on oceans of emeralds
wrapped in cloaks of alligator fur
against icy mists of centaur breath”
but my mirror tells no lies
I’m middle-aged, paunchy,
balding – no big deal
no Charon will come to ferry me
safe through noisome spin-drift seas
there’s sodden flotsam all around me –
everything, everyone, ebbs away
for dessert, a box of ‘Twisters’
with ‘sensuous hazelnut filling’
washed down with antacids
antacids and tea.

© coolhermit 2023
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