Saturday 8 October 2022

Three Poems by Wendy Webb

 



GIFTS FROM MY MUM

 

Demanded nothing from my Mum.

She bought a faux leather girlie handbag,

which I adored – long as it lasted

  -nicked from the Little Mermaid campsite bar.

Like my Mum. My voice.

Singing for her along every promenade

of every seaside town, ever since

she bought me a chain belt

  -does anyone remember that fashion?

With the dress to match.

Loved it until the metal links popped,

the dress too stretchy to wear comfortably;

and my Mum remained, immaculate,

until Dad declared, ‘He’s no brother of yours!’

My mixed-race cute baby bro keeping

Mum busy up north

            in Sheffield.

Demanded nothing – visiting, when I could,

so she could talk.

I’m understanding her better now:

            she’s long-gone; and I’m old.


 


Unpublished

 

AUDIOLOGICALLY SOUND

(Quantum Leap Honourable Mention/2022-08)

 

I need an Audiologist,

my hearing’s not so fine.

Having waited weeks and weeks, I’m here:

now I need one that’s all mine.

 

I’m in a Doctor’s Surgery,

the queues are, oh, so grim.

Not long now – I am feeling ill –

fluorescent lights are dim.

 

They’re being seen; not me, but they,

that came at the same time.

There’s just one Audiologist;

double-booking’s not sublime.

 

There’s magazines back home, not here,

I’m under-represented.

Social distancing’s OK

(if not ancient or addicted).

 

‘Are you pregnant?’  …At my age

I have a few ageing ailments:

sight/hearing/dodgy knees/and Meds;

I’ve forgotten youthful predicaments.

 

Face masks (still) are all the rage,

I’m getting botheration-hot.

If she doesn’t call me in quite soon,

my bladder might play Hip-Hop.

 

She’s calm and so efficient, now,

my foul mood’s effervescent.

Don’t bleep nor tweak, now I’m sat down,

else Boris-elbow might get exuberant.

 

All done, I’m leaving; she’s a saint.

I can hear! And I’ve grown very fond…

of the only Audiologist shipped in from Lincs,

via Sutton Bridge and the wild beyond.



 

BUTTERFLY ON GLASS

 

Every memory; every good dream

            of holidays/of family

you’ve trashed.

As if they were all pain to you

            -a boy that laughed

and smiled, had fun…

supported, as yourself.

If you won’t grace us with

            shared albums/walks/

and talking of the good times

            (not long gone),

what’s to be done?

Your hours drained in one room,

excluded from shared meals, or parents

            ageing.

If you would spread your wings,

            even boomerang,

then home would be where your heart

            lives/and mine.

 

Your feather-flight nowhere, except cold glass.

A butterfly is thrashing at thin air.

How can we, darklings, dart you to the light?


Wendy Webb: Born in the Midlands, home and family life in Norfolk. She edited Star Tips poetry magazine 2001-2021. Published in Indigo Dreams, Quantum Leap, Crystal, Envoi, Seventh Quarry) and online (Littoral Magazine, Autumn Voices, Wildfire Words, Lothlorien, Meek Colin), she was placed First in Writing Magazine’s pantoum poetry competition. She devised new poetry forms (Davidian, Magi, Palindromedary); wrote her father’s biography, ‘Bevin Boy’, and her own autobiography, ‘Whose Name Was Wit in Waterr’ (title inspired by Keats’ grave in Rome). She has attempted many traditional forms and free verse.

Favourite poets: Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Burnside, John Betjeman, the Romantic Poets (especially Wordsworth), George Herbert, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Mary Webb, Norman Bissett, William Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.


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