Week Twenty-Two

Here is the second installment of the Goldilocks poetry sequence.

 

Letter to Goldilocks

Dear Girl,

We hope this reaches you.

We wanted to make clear

the damage you have done,

our anger and our fear.

On Thursday we were out

when you broke into our home.

You smashed our bathroom window

using next door’s garden gnome.

 

You left footprints, leaves and dirt,

filth you’d brought in from the street,

and ravaged all our cupboards,

to find something to eat.

Once finished with your porridge,

you destroyed a priceless chair,

a treasured family heirloom

which was beautiful and rare.

 

We were later shocked to find

that you used our baby’s bed.

You left hairs upon his pillow

and your grime clings to his spread.

You even had some time

to dye your hair blonde too,

leaving evidence in the sink

of a rather ghastly hue.

 

So, girl, we’d like to know

what your motivations were,

Mrs Bear can hardly sleep

for the fear of your return.

The Bears

 

Letter to the Bears

Hello,

I broke into your house the other day.

I wanted to explain myself.

I don’t have a house of my own,

and yours looked so warm and light.

My home is the porch of the Chinese takeaway

where I sometimes get free dumplings,

but of course a girl can’t live on dumplings,

that’s why I ate your porridge.

I remembered the homely sludge,

and the steam curling in the air,

and I couldn’t resist, I’m sorry.

As for the chair, my legs ached with cold,

and I ignored the ‘fragile – DO NOT SIT’ post-it.

One day I will pay you back.

I hope I didn’t get the bed too dirty.

I tried my best to wash myself before I slept

but my skin is foul and I stink

like rotting fruit and old plaster casts.

I had a job interview today,

that was why I used your sink to dye my hair.

I didn’t get the job.

I was going to clean my mess, I promise I was,

but then you came back and I got scared.

So, if you want to find me,

I’ll be by the Chinese takeaway, blonde now.

Maybe I’ll go to prison,

and get a roof over my head.

 

Sorry again,

Goldilocks

Week Twenty-One

This is the first part of a sequence of poems taking a different angle on the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’.

Burglary on Forest Road leaves the Bear family ‘confused and devastated’

POLICE were called to Forest Road

earlier this week following reports of a burglary.

The suspected break-in occurred on Thursday

between the hours of 10am and 11am.

The burglar did not take anything of great value,

however the suspect caused substantial criminal damage

to a chair and a bed. According to witnesses,

the suspect was a young woman of slim build,

around 5’6”, with golden hair,

and dressed in ragged, dirty clothing.

The occupants of the house, the Bear family,

who were out for a walk at the time of the incident,

released a statement: ‘We are devastated that

this could happen in our neighbourhood,

which is filled with families.

The burglar only took some porridge,

however they caused irreparable damage to a chair

and broke a window to get in and out.

They left our home in a complete mess

which thoroughly upset our three-year-old child.

We are confused about her motivations

and want her to be caught

so we can find out why this happened to us.’

If you have any information in connection to the incident or believe you saw the suspect in the area around the time of the incident on Thursday please contact the police on 101.

 

Hair Dye Packet, evidence from the scene

NEW! Natural looking blonde.

For colour so rich and glossy,

try our new ‘Golden Locks’ hair dye!

Works on Brunette hair and,

using the latest enzyme-replacement technology,

counteracts damage as you dye

for that pearly gleam and colour pop!

 

Mrs Fox, Eyewitness

She was blonde or brunette,

– I’m colourblind, you see –

but she was a plain girl.

Dressed in rags, she was,

they were hanging off her

like the wings of a crow.

Filthy face, she had,

blotched with dirt from the streets

like she’d washed in newspaper.

She looked thin.

As slight as a dandelion seed,

like the wind could whip her away.

It’s sad isn’t it?

The homeless problem around here.

She was probably starving.

She was running from their house,

– what a lovely couple they are, eh? –

glass glittering in a stream behind her.

Week Seventeen

An Accidental Discovery

The hedge I was looking at had a little nest near its roots. The nest contained three perfect eggs, settled like milk teeth.

As I watched, I thought I saw a small movement, a tiny knocking that slightly splintered the surface. I wanted their mother to be there, to watch them break into the world, so I turned my head on the gravel, looking up at the blue for her.

‘Don’t move,’ they say. Something warm and soft is placed over me.

Then, suddenly, she was there, flitting through the sky, hopping among the clouds. A small brown sparrow. She landed by the hedge, looking ready to launch herself into the nest, a security guard protecting precious art.

The hedge was in front of a house, a house I thought I knew. It was white with black edges and I wondered if I was inside the black-and-white TV we got when I was six. The house scratched at the corner of my memory, begging to be lit up in colour.

‘I think he lives in that house,’ they say, ‘I saw him coming down the driveway.’

And of course I do, so I nod, but then my head is pierced with knives. Suddenly, my insides turn to ice and my eyelids glitter and burst with stars.

Later, in the hospital, a nurse adjusts my drip. She sees that I am awake. ‘You had quite a nasty knock,’ she says. ‘How are you feeling?’

I squint at her. ‘You look like my wife,’ I say. And she does. The arm that her clipboard rests on is just as slender as my wife’s, and it curves down into a tiny wrist, like a smooth glass vase for flowers.

She smiles sympathetically. ‘Are you ready for a visitor? He’s been waiting to come in for quite a while now.’

I tell her to let him in and when he comes and sits by my bed I don’t recognise him. He is wearing a uniform, a uniform I know I should know but can’t place. It is black-and-white, like my house.

He tells me that someone at the scene has told the police where I live. No one is at home so they are waiting for my wife there.

‘What home?’ I wonder aloud. ‘What wife?’

He has a wart that bubbles right next to his eye. ‘Not to worry,’ he tells me, and the wart wiggles.

He returns my bag to me, and this I remember. It’s a good, sturdy leather with lots of secret zips for secret things. What I don’t remember is the jewelry that’s inside. I suppose that it must be my wife’s and fall back into the black again.

I dream of my wife. She stands in the door of our black-and-white house in my faded brown dressing gown and her favourite silk nightie. On her feet she wears a slim pair of black heels, the ones she wore for dinner with Tim and Julie the other night, and I laugh because these are the first shoes she has grabbed to come out onto the porch patio. She is waving me off to work as she always does, her hair still static from the pillow. A thin strand snakes down by her ear onto her neck. Her neck is peachy and raw and I can’t help but remember its taste. Bags sit heavy as lead under her eyes and her small hand, frail as a bird skeleton, flaps in the wind. The ring I put there glints in the sun.

I look at the hedge. I will trim that hedge soon, I think.

The policeman comes back with a policewoman and my bag is gone. He asks how I am feeling and I tell him I am fine, a little sore, but fine. He asks if I am ready for a few questions and I suppose that it is about the accident. I remember it now. I had left the house in a hurry, and I was by the hedge, open bag resting on my lifted knee. I didn’t see the bus, I was too busy trying to open one of the secret zips to put my keys in.

Instead of asking about the accident, he asks about me. He asks what I remember about my life.

‘I don’t remember my name,’ I tell him. ‘But I do remember my house: 33 Herbert Street. The black-and-white house. And I remember my wife.’

‘Well,’ he says. ‘We’ve just been to 33 Herbert Street, and when the lady who lives there, Mrs Walton, arrived home, she said that you weren’t her husband when we described you. Mr Walton is bald, you have plenty of hair. Mr Walton is at work at this very moment, like any other normal day.’

I squirm at how patronising he is. ‘Oh,’ I say.

‘Well,’ the policeman says again. ‘We have found no form of ID on you, so are you sure you have no idea what your real name is? Or the names of anyone who might know?’

I want to help him, so I tell him my name is Kevin Green.

‘Kevin, I see.’ He frowns. ‘One final question: do you recognise any of these items?’

He shows me some keys, two rings, a necklace and a woman’s watch.

‘Of course,’ I say. ‘Those are my keys, and that is my wife’s jewelry.’

The policeman looks sad and the policewoman next to him sighs. I had almost forgotten she was there.

‘Mr Green,’ the policeman says. ‘These items belong to the Waltons, and they were found in your bag. Can you explain this for us?’

The wart next to his eye wiggles.