nthposition online magazine

Broken biscuits & Ugly as old onion

by Michael Pedersen

[ poetry - march 10 ]

Broken biscuits

Overdue bills crowd the vestibule, the welcome mat
is boorish as Dundee doormen. Every morning, sums
surface for breakfast: a medley of burnt toast
and eggs unfit for dipping. Spoons fill in for forks,
sausage for sirloin but, still, the numbers don't tally.

An invoice sits, in subterfuge, on the passenger seat -
try not to look at it. Chariots, chilled to the bolts,
crawl up London Road in a bleak procession,
drivers, exhausted, tug at collars; even the horns
are tired, hissing like wet cats. It's 2010

and Britain's (two-year) recession is winding down -
though it'll be a long-time lingering: husbands
are without wives, lessons lack lustre, eyes brown
like bovines, who've caught the scent of stew;
hearts heave, from all those cancelled holidays.

 

Ugly as old onion

Unlike secret lockets, fished out
for afternoon sigh sessions,
a broken heart is public, purulent
as a lather of onion gook,
lining the upper-lip;

it can't be coloured over
as pimples are, or oil stains
on frocks - it's transdermic,
seeps through skin

and into hair, looting
with the myriad mites;
devouring our dying parts
like pirates scoff rum.