This next poem is about a woman who decided not to become a mother and so has foregone the grandmother role. The lines wander across the page, break up here and there and struggle fruitlessly to get away from the left hand margin.

Once Troublesome

It isn’t New Year yet so happy what?
Till then it’s Boxing Day every morning.
Empty bags hang off the radiator.
Chilly: hot
                                                Cordelia position.
                                    Did it mean
we didn’t love each other
that morning he gave me up
though that same night he said let’s marry?
            My striped dress hung
                        along my body
my abdomen as I walked, a balloon
                        sinking back down
                        its own string
after the decision.
The baby would have had to sleep in a drawer.
(not you who refuse to believe improbable notions)
            The smallest cell refuses to die
            in its everness.
Now I live in an attic
garden is the chewed melon string of sky.
Old bins, old books. Death’s hardly ethical
in the light of such continuity. Last week
the CEO of a charity named in my will
wrote to suggest ways to retrieve what I’ve lost.
Look, Christmas photos
            of others’ other
                        children. After
                                    Pocoyo, Juggling Balls.

from The Clockwork Gift (Shearsman, 2009), © Claire Crowther 2009, used by permission of the author

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