Written the Evening Before a Post is Due

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To my sorrow
I have no poem for tomorrow

And now it is today
What do you readers say?

In the future
Will a reblog suit ya?

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Identity Crisis

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A family moment, measuring the boys:
measuring the boys on their own
measuring the boys against each other
measuring the boys against Dad
measuring Dad against Mum
measuring the boys against Mum.

Son, you’re 5’4”, so that’s two inches taller than Mum.
That’s not right. Do it again.
We measure again:
5’4” and 5’2”

No, I’m five foot tall.
I’ve been five foot tall since I was eighteen.
My Dad measured me for my passport
when we emigrated.
Women don’t grow after eighteen.
I was five foot then; I’m five foot now.
I’ll take my slippers off. Do it again.

I ignore the sniggering as they measure once more.
5’2”
Your tape measure is faulty. Find another one.
5’2”
Do it against the door. Mark off 5’2” on the door;
I’ll wash it later. I’ll stand under it and you’ll see
a two-inch gap.
5’2”

I don’t get it.
I don’t understand.
I’m five foot tall. You’ve made a mistake.
You know your Dad was ditzy like y…you know
your Dad was ditzy. He probably made a mistake
when he measured you.

How can you make a mistake with a tape measure?
It’s not possible.
He shrugs.

No. I’m short. I’m dainty.
I’m tiny, like Kylie Minogue.
5’2” is not dainty. It’s not tiny.
It’s not who – not what I am.
I’m five foot tall. I’ve always been five foot tall.
I’m five foot small.

This is like that time my feet grew two sizes
when I emigrated.
I blame South Africa.

***

Genuine identity crisis. I’m still seething, twelve years later.

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Aargh!

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I’m sorry that
you had to wait;
I’ve been locked out
for eight days straight.

But now I’m back,
the poems will come…
assuming I’m not
still pc dumb.

***

Apologies for the longer than anticipated break; as far as I know, I haven’t changed my password (I’ve done that accidentally more than once), but WordPress wouldn’t let me in. I eventually found my way via Google but I can’t rely on that access remaining open, because technology and me don’t really mix.

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Our Christmas Candle

Our Christmas Candle lives in a clay candle pot,
a primary school gift from child to parent.
It has illuminated our Christmas Table for twenty years;
seventeen of them with the original candle.
It is extinguished the moment that last fork jangles
the last plate, that last napkin wipes the last mouth,
on My Orders: candles and crackers do not mix.
The candle must be dead before the prospective
kindling – mini-explosions and paper hats
and fluttering mottos and feeble jokes – flies
like sparklers across the half-empty dishes.

Our Christmas Candle is the first item I remove
from the cluttered Christmas Table: blown out;
dipped in a waiting bowl of water; pressed wick tested
for smoulders; and finally left on a specially cleared
kitchen counter, no tempting tinder in its space,
a miniscule nuclear wasteland of barrenness.
I make periodic checks for spontaneous combustion:
none so far.

The matches which lit our Christmas Candle –
the matches I cannot untremblingly wield to strike
the box to light the Candle to decorate the Dinner Table,
and which are yielded to my husband to activate,
glad to do it, for he is otherwise left redundant
by my Christmas Day Marshal alter ego –
those matches drown for an hour in the kitchen sink
before their green disposal, thus avoiding the probable
Igniting of the Bin which happens in lesser households
with laxer Match & Candle Rules.

Why do I even bother, then?

I bother because my child made that Santa Candlestick;
and I love my child more than I fear fire.
Love is the inextinguishable flame.

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I’m taking a break over Christmas but I’ll be back in the New Year. Thank you for your visits, your comments, and your likes in 2021. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to return nearly as many visits as I’d have liked to, but it’s been a very busy year for me with one thing and another.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate; and see you soon to those who don’t.

Love, Linda x

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