Fiona Sinclair


Proximity treats us to a full throated Adhan
that fades across town like a child’s echo.
For me, similar to opera, it is improved 
by being in an alien language,
where sentimental libretto or prompt to prayer would detract.
Instead like bird song, it becomes pure sound.
Christian bells are just local colour now or
the sound track to wedding cinematography.
But the frequency of this call ,
interrupts shopping mall racket, social media gibberish,
and summons up my devout atheist’s soul-
as I close my eyes to listen.


This real cuckoo song
reverses time .
I close my eyes at the call
to pagan prayer,
that takes me back to the beginning-

Second Wind

Retiring at 65, you get a second wind.
Your mornings are tinkering.
Your afternoons are feet up watching classic 90s TV.
At Aintree, your black Crombie with a flash of red shirt,
draws You look cool man tributes from booted and suited lads;
and your trade mark hair, splendid as a crest,
has older men, smoothing bald-pates and sighing Nice cut mate.

At 59, I am winded by five months repeating revision litany
to private pupils at vespers hour;
bingeing in the car on Snickers for sugar spike to keep my eyes open;
carrying my weight gain with the shame of a 1950s unmarried mother.
At the Grand National, all I can throw together
is beige shift dress, dun coat, grey hat,
a pheasant hen’s dowdy plumage.

Whilst you glide on the current of such compliments,
I flap behind, trying with wing-clipped confidence,
to keep up with you. 


Occasionally, life throws me a double six day: 
a birthday perhaps, that I Eeyore predicted 
would be bottom of the pile of everyone’s busy lives.
Then become champagne giddy, at the carefully chosen words 
of husband’s card, that Cyrano speak for him; 
giggle as childhood chum sings Happy Birthday down the phone 
despite both being in our 50s;
beam at the friend on my front door step who bares
purple orchids like a giant corsage.
And I continue to unwrap this day 
like a lingering game of pass the parcel 
where the music stops at me every- time. 
And on this day, I do not fire off one finger to the driver 
who cuts me up, instead a Whatever shrug.
No Fuck You is detonated by the shop assistant who holds
my purchase hostage until ID is shown, instead a beatific smile.
Such days, however can- not be carried over
like a bender, but always lapse at midnight.
The following day a reckoning, 
as I ache with anti-climax,
my mood slumping as if for a little death.,

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