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

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Week Twelve

Here is the beginning of a mystery story, in part inspired by ‘The Girl on the Train’ (awesome book). Not sure what to title it so will just leave it blank for now!

 

The man was there everyday. But then one day, he wasn’t.

I put my coffee cup down on the fold-up table and used my thumb to soothe the red scratch of heat that crept across my palm. Heatproof cups, my arse, I thought. I nodded at the man a few seats away, the one with the peeling briefcase who always sat in seat 23W. He gave me the usual clipped smile.

The train started to move away from the station, with a violin shriek. I peered out of the window, looking for the man with his little hut. It was made from corrugated metal sheets, left over from the recent re-construction of the station roof, and he had furniture made from wood and parts of an old bicycle. I always greatly admired the man’s handiwork, thinking, snobbishly and ridiculously, that if I ever became homeless, I would be as completely rational and practical as he was, and why couldn’t they all think like that? Rather than just sitting there, begging. I really hated myself sometimes.

The little hut came into view. It was on a grassy mound just outside of the fence protecting the tracks, where the man could sit and watch the trains. It even had a working door.

The man was always sitting out on his wooden stool, sometimes even writing or drawing something on a paper pad. But today, he wasn’t there, and that was the first weird thing.

The hut had a great dent in its roof. It made me sad to see, because the man was probably so proud of his little hut. And the door, the door was open.

The man always had his door shut, and he even locked it with a bicycle lock. But today, it was wide open, smashed back on its hinges, and the insides – plastic bags, empty food tins, sheets of the paper pad – were vomited all over the grassy mound.  

I sat forward in my seat, knocking the coffee cup slightly so a thin pool formed a moat around its base. I looked around the coach. No one else from the normal commute looked remotely concerned. I wanted to tell someone. I didn’t want the responsibility of what I’d seen on me.

I tried to catch the eye of the peeling briefcase man in seat 23W, but he had headphones in and was watching something on his phone. After glancing around for a few more moments, I realised how faintly ridiculous I was being, and settled back into the chair. The man was fine. He was probably inside the hut right now, maybe having a clear out of old rubbish. Soon, my thoughts wandered to the day ahead, the chat that I was to have with Michael about my performance in sales, the pretty new secretary, the chicken wrap I had for lunch.

Week Nine

I have recently found homelessness to be a very heartbreaking topic, particularly as this seems to be one of the greatest problems in my area. I have written this poem from the point of view of someone who is homeless, someone who I imagine would consistently feel as though they are on the outside looking in.

Watching

Forever I am watching.

The gaudy bulbs get changed,

As one by one they burst.

The waiters sweat,

The customers complain,

And the floor is glazed with grease,

Layer upon layer.

 

The hygiene inspector comes,

With his sharp notepad and pen,

And I watch.

His thumb twitches on the pen top,

Clicking ever more frantically

When he sees an unwashed knife

Or a hair clinging to the sponge

In the washing up bowl.

 

I am always watching, here,

In my warm nest of bin bags:

The one that swamps the pavement,

Like a wrinkled bunch of grapes.

Sometimes I sample the food,

And I realise,

It is as bad as it looks.