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Cover Library Poetry A Hot January

Stoking the Fire

Susan Abraham
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She was a pugnacious sort, a lizard tongue
preying on overtime. She tasted betrayals
for trifles and gossip fed candy into her body
parts, her soul measured eternity all wrong.
Lungs raced on slippery grace, inhaling
the fumes of slander with clumsy distaste
and tunnelling down, a freezer
for a tummy that shunned its slimy defrost
to bottle up the heady juice of news.
And what with withered breasts for a
rocketed aerobic stretch, pendulums
that even professed circus swings
downside up and forgot their dignified ride
to the grave...
Or she may have resembled a cake, obese
for a sunken oven squeeze. But you, the
husband desiring the obtuse for a potent
perversion rested bravely, a carnation
cradled on a lapel, and plumped up by
rosettes, despondent in the gullied nest of
her feathery skin.
Why, the other day she served me tea.
Cherries from freckles and chocolate spat
from the bowels of a throat. And she wore
the fray from her commendable tray on a
smile that may have turned a wedding
hat into an elusive bat.
She kept her glee with the wee bit
of an Earl Grey Special if I wasn’t to mind...
she whispered its mud brew where she had
squatted with aerobic precision to kiss a frog.
As for the milk and sugar, ferried about like
wallet stowaways, watch her squeeze the
leather dry from dripping fat. More cream,
she’d ask except that a touch of acne pus
would do it nicely and one ought to utter
one’s thanks wisely.
But she was a pugnacious sort, licking your
days with gossip in her body parts and her
criminal toes a quarreling band of dwarves
to shovel up wrongdoings for a fee. Still,
the dutiful wife, she kettles your whims into
a nice hot broth as you wheedle your way
from a sting. And so her fingers scrub and
clean and sing.
She stayed innocuous in her belief of fantasy
But deluded no-one.
Why, just this morning, the snow
fell with a vengeance as she hung out laundry.
It defied a March sun and chalked her shoulder,
With shouts of boo while the fallen sky crept
behind, a skirt tug for a scared child.
Humming its winged melody, a stolen composition
The whistling wand of an abandoned swan
and the noisy sea of ghostly windmills, she
was suddenly taken to fancies, picturing the
can-can swing of gossamer threads,
destined to shroud the drone of pegs.
There is an ocean that sits
in the scared sun and it carries
a blue moon in its shell
to mark the flavour of a changed
sunset, so mind the step.
We swim in the fluorescent hue
with salt as a raft.
Life stands transfixed on the ordinance of time
and space. I am the reflex.
Heralding a witch’s limp, I secretly dance
the fairy leap, spiraling up my galaxy swirl,
mismatched hobbles drowned my lost worlds.
I ready a parachute dip from where my
toes just miss the shores of death.
But calendar dates and stubborn bones petition
that I not abandon breath.
Still, I was busy counting stars that matched
the lines upon my skin, you would think
that such a feat would breed an easy win.
Once I was young, a careless whore to
fleeing days. Make me my merry way and
I’d swing my skirts no matter
what the cost, throw songs to the rooftop
wind and ride the wing of a magpie king.
My jigsawed route from where I flew then,
precious, strong and brave.
Now, I’ve been told that I would cease to exist
if not for cushioned sighs.
Alas, I who throw parties for an embittered wart
and curse a grunt for a snore would hold on,
my beddy-byes a prayer for dear life, begging
to smile at a sunrise...won’t another one be kind,
while fading to my drooping eye.
I, the spool of thread
smarter than
fat baked bread,
fluffy cocoa, or
hardy slippers
that snuggles toes,
may shy from a show
but smuggle merit
by looming high
a spinning carousel
weaving sweaters
dressing quilts
and warming ice upon a
sunrise, marrying
sentiment in dreary
beds, a dancer
the top of my head.
Table of related information
Copyright ©Susan Abraham, 2008
By the same author RSSThere are no more works at
Date of publicationMay 2008
Collection RSSA Hot January
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