The Dead Geraniums Poem

I am not an ecumenical beast, she told me
Jesus, I had never heard that one before
She was wheezing as she climbed the stairs
Shredding paper, forgot she was allergic to the dust
Paper dust? Old bills, dwindling congregation
Too expensive to keep open, running costs etc
I don’t like the thought of sharing another chapel
There’s a reason we went separate ways you know
No I didn’t know.

I was helping her clear the house
Her family’s terrace house on the side of the hill
Typical Welsh house, love spoons in the hallway
Brass trinkets and gaudy lustre ware on the dresser
Her husband’s porn videos hidden in the shed
Teen Arse Action and Home for the Holidays
Tapes mouldy with Llanelli damp and rat piss
I’d binned them before she could find them
To save her from any faith based embarrassment
She’d told me how he’d made wooden things
On his lathe, in that shed

for the Eisteddfod in ’76
The heatwave year in which we all had melted
Must’ve been pretty steamy in that shed, I thought
Turning shafts of wood into phallus shaped leeks
The dirty bugger, the lives we leave concealed eh
Tosser should’ve had a clear out before he died
I tripped over a pile of his LP’s leant like slates
Against the side of the shit brown shiny wardrobe
Max Boyce Live at Treorchy Rugby Club 1974
Land of My fathers by the Morriston Orpheus
Male Voice Choir.

My God, what dross
Would you like a cup of tea dear, she called out
I’m alright ta, I shouted back, eagerly rummaging
In the wardrobe, a bundle of Woodworker mags
Tied up with string with some Spick and Spans
And a single photo of a busty blond with bouffant
Leaning on the railings of the bus station
The words To my Darling Vaughn, June ’72
Scribbled on the back in pencil
I slipped it in my pocket and ran down the stairs
Calling see you later as I opened the front door
Are you going dear?

But we haven’t made love yet
I disappeared down the street . . .

. . . why did you have to come to me that way?
shapeshifting into my dreams as someone else
someone that made me run away from you
out the door and down the street instead of
well, you know what we could’ve done
but it never seems to end that way does it?

and she smelt of dead geraniums too

10 thoughts on “The Dead Geraniums Poem

  1. This is different from you Colin. As VJ says, there are many layers. House clearing is akin to grave-digging in my book. What you’re actually doing is putting someone to rest by disposing of their chattels or finding another home for them. Thirty years ago I brought some lovely old ironstone rocks from my then recently deceased uncle’s garden to make a rockery. It’s time to move it again as it has become overgrown. It still felt like an incredible responsibility. A wonderful thought provoking piece Colin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers G. The putting someone to rest procedure can be a lengthy process – if indeed it actually ever ends. After the funeral the ashes, the possessions, the house, estate . . . At which point is a line drawn under the goodbye? I need to get down to Sussex to deal with my late Mum’s bungalow but the Welsh Government won’t allow me to travel yet. I guess we’re waiting to see how much England makes a bollocks of their restrictions being eased. Watch out for that second wave mate and thanks for popping by – not literally of course as that would be against the rules! I must catch up with your blog soon. Cheers, Col.


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