If I hadn’t turned the key in the ignition
like you ordered me to, before we married
I wouldn’t be where I am now
and you wouldn’t be where you are either.
I’d never have learned to drive
never have sat outside the bank,
engine running, waiting
for you to finish work.
I’d never have seen you get into her
yellow Toyota Yaris.
I’d have been at home, reading your text,
have to stay late don’t wait up,
while watching Corrie.
I’d never have seen her yellow shoe box
bounce up and down in the carpark.
She, riding you as if you were a stallion.
I’d never have smashed that Yaris’s grin,
head-on. No, I’d have been in the kitchen,
simmering a blue-cheese sauce
to pour over your rare rib-eye steak.
My bed’s mahogany legs stand on a Nepalese carpet.
I luxuriate in lying naked on silk sheets.
Brocade curtains fail to block street car horns
and scraping heels on pavements.
Head lice scratch my scalp debating today’s events.
I close my eyes and carpet flies.
It shakes as we encounter turbulence.
A black knight astride a grey mare lands
beside me with a picnic basket of caviar and champagne.
He says he still jostles and uses his lance.
I stoke it, say I miss him. We kiss.
Convulsions wake me. Aftershave lingers in the air.
The curtains waltz in the morning breeze.
How much longer will I meet him in my dreams?
is mouse peeking out of hole
one eye on sliver of grated cheese
lying on kitchen tiles
other on sleeping Labrador
beside patio door.
Hope is woman hunched over hob
watching two duck breasts
blacken on frying pan
stirs simmering orange sauce
hears tick of kitchen clock.
Hope is man, gulping one last pint
(as barman calls closing time)
car keys lodged in jeans pocket
forgoes takeaway curry chips
drives home via bog road.
Hope is dog, raising eye-lid
listening for scurrying of rodent feet
dreaming of fresh mouse meat
or perhaps, orange-drenched breasts
found later in food-waste bin.
Anne Walsh Donnelly lives in the west of Ireland. Her work has appeared in many publications. She was nominated for the Hennessy Literary Award for emerging poetry and selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2019. Her poetry chapbook, “The Woman With An Owl Tattoo” was published in May 2019 by Fly On The Wall Poetry Press. Her debut short story collection, “Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife” will be published by Blue Nib in September 2019. To find out more about Anne or to purchase her books go to: annewalshdonnelly.com
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