Midlife, Middling

You showed me how easily

the cheesy wotsits crumbled through your fingers

sticky orange dust filling your hands

my heart pouring its molten mass onto your palms.

 

You hold out your hand

and laugh softly, beckoning, seducing,

wordlessly, I bend to lick off the crumbs,

nibble those long fingers,

caress my liquid heart aquiver in the scoop of your hands.

My tongue feels pure joy

electric flashes.

***

 

And then the morning-starved yell of one fat baby

pierced the thickening dawn

and that was it

dream gone

querulous mouths back demanding

running up and down those stairs

retrieving wellies and jumpers to pull on protesting limbs.

 

Yet that dream glow stayed with me all day

as I gave my serviceable Mum-shoes a miss

and slipped on lethal heels.

That day I felt attractive again.

 

We first kissed under the laden waft of Chernobyl

all that summer we were ablaze

counting the hours since our last kiss

you only knew my body in its sinewy smoothness

not the quaver softness of child-stretched flesh

you only remember hopes and ideals

not the compromises and shortfalls

I like the picture of myself in your mind’s eye

still dewy potential, spirit and energy.

 

But then the pale sceptre arises with rueful smile

admitting, ‘I’m tired now. I’m off to bed.’