(first published at Madswirl)
|Image may be subject to copyright|
As the family gathers,
we celebrate her 70th birthday,
pale pink balloons
full breasted and floating.
I struggle to find a young girl’s face
buried somewhere amongst the crevices
and parchment histories of women
dressed in clever stripes and flowers,
dresses that sell fertility and fruitfulness,
concealing pea sized shrunken wombs.
Opposite sits the Hairdresser Confidante
- saying nothing -
corpse white fingers,
elongated and pale from their
all day feeding amongst the shadows
of the dark and the dyed,
his hands resting on swollen belly,
fingers locked in deadly combat,
a bloodless self-embrace.
The children flit through our adult world,
they spread grace and sin in equal measures,
skipping between the hot house flowers
and the suited pockets deep.
the balloons, pale pink and silver looming,
long tailed and anchored to white linen,
on tabletops rounded for conversation
- and profit.
But the Party Girl’s line dancer friends
sit not in circles but side by side,
lifting their glasses with the practiced ease
of high priestesses, who have reconciled
dancing alone, while with each other,
still afraid of finding themselves sitting
where the circle’s beginning
meets it’s end.
©Copyright Niall OConnor
editor's note: Our oldest spectator sport; watching the progress of age. Our arms are muscled but ever unable to hold off its pressing push to circle's end. - mh