I fear for my children flying, imagine
terror attacks, engines failing,
somber-voiced newscasters reporting
ever-increasing death tolls,
the hunt for missing body parts.
Not dead! Plane didn’t crash!
My daughter’s text.
Dead thuds as it would at the end of a line.
Dead belongs at the end; I do not want it to.
Death should be played on vinyl
This One Last Wild Waltz from Too-Rye-Aye
and back to the start
where I hold myself over the font,
where I dare attend my ownfuneral.
Excuse me please, you’re standing in my space
right through to the final track.
This is the tune that everyone knows,
the one they sing along to.
It doesn’t belong on this record!
Allow me the space in between,
the silence to read my own eulogy,
reincarnate myself as a tree
rooted into my grave to know
My white-cloaked friend looks shiny
in her depression,
does not envy the trees
their yearly rejuvenation.
Everything passes, she says.
If you see a gorilla’s face in a magazine,
rip out the page!
She doesn’t have children,
autumnal views on the other side of the fence
and a garden too green in November,
roses in bloom with the rain pissing down
a neighbour’s shrub the colour of menstruation,
wood-stain to preserve
too dark to be seen at this hour, I fear
how she sleeps!
how they all sleep, or try.
Carol Stewart is a mother and grandmother living in the Scottish Borders. A former freelance editor, she has recently had poems published in 404 Ink, That (Literary Review) and Abstract (Contemporary Expressions).