Of course, she always had hordes of lovers
so whenever I saw her, fat and placid
termite-queen of the nursing home
I imagined her naked, lying
on a bed of animal fur,
moustachioed men, smelling
of horses and sweat and woodsmoke
taking turns to lose themselves
in her plump white breasts,
her eyes closed, her full-blown
parting and unparting.
– Joanna Preston
from The Summer King (Otago University Press, 2009)
Using one of my own pieces for today’s poem is a bit of a soft option (no pun intended, but snigger if you like), but a couple of people asked me questions about it in Sydney, and it just came up in another discussion I was having. So hey, who am I to go against the universe’s nudge?
It span out of a mishearing – I overheard someone saying the first line with the sort of dripping disdain that you can probably imagine, and I had a sudden mental image of Lydia and her mound of furs (stop it right now). The second bit of good fortune was that I wrote down the wrong version of the word “horde”, which triggered pretty much everything else.
I would like to add, for the record, that this poem is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to any actual person, living, dead, or living-dead, is purely coincidental, and fortunate for all concerned.
And no, I can’t give you her contact details.*
For more Tuesday Poems, visit http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/.
* Although you are most welcome to buy an extra copy or two of the book, so that you can see if it’s hidden somewhere deep in the spine of a few randomly selected copies … **
** Are you sure? Want to check another?
9 Replies to “Tuesday Poem – “Lydia of the Lace Doilies””
Ah delightful! And Many Many Congratulations on winning the Award. I am thrilled for you.
Thank you Kay!
Congrats again on your Mary Gilmore success, Jo. I chuckled when I saw Lydia, because that was the poem you read when I first met you and I remember thinking: “Wow. I’m not sure I actually “like” that poem but it sure is a powerful use of the poetic form.” 🙂
Thanks. It’s one of those poems that you really do think twice about reading in public …
Great poem! I have such a vivid picture of Lydia in my head now.
I don’t know whether to say yay, or offer my apologies … 😉
………….ah, no I’d better not.
Ian, now you’ve got me worried. Better not … ?
Lovely balance of tone, form, words.
Hits just the right note.