A poem #102 – Pleased to see you

It shames me to say
no good thought of you
has passed through my mind
since the first day
when parted ways.
Your long hair flowing
like the mouth of a river, down the bedside
and mine like the red torrent of the sea
where they should have mixed together there was instead
me not knowing, you not loving
anything
more of me.
Tiny fingers outstretched
in search of your skin
to feel the blanket in which we swaddle the world
to take the sting
from the bite of its being
but, instead:
nothing.
You asked if I was pleased
to see you, when we did
long afterwards, meet
but pleased is a happy word
sullied by the whispering slur
and I left my happiness
long ago at your teat
swept with your uncaring hand
to grow amongst
the kerb-line weeds.
So, no, I am not pleased
nor happy or aggrieved
but, the endless growings of
the motherless grey
and the numbness soaking
through the void between.
Standing here now
two adults again greet
I see that you too have taken the bottle
from it still
you drink most deep
always only, just a babe
with ruby-red flushed cheeks.
With old fingers now, shaking, outreached
to two rivers battling at the mouth of the sea
where they should have mixed forever
but still in the chop, bereaved
it is you who requires most the weaning
from the milk of the bottle
much more than me.

JP Collins

A poem #88 – Go steady

She said to me “Son, go steady,
you are not yet ready
to sing this song.
Unclench your fist, bite your lip:
some men are better with words
than they are with bombs.

“Blood near boils in the heat of a fight;
and whilst you are right,
you are wrong.
Take a moment, catch your breath:
the measure of a man is in how he moves on
from the thing that’s already done.

“Where a mother has a right to mother,
don’t stay always under this cover:
even weeds grow in the shade.
But instead,
know when to love and when to leave,
know when to smile and when to grieve.
Know when to hide under the pain,
Know when to break into a million pieces:
many a good thing from broken parts
can be made.”

JP Collins