Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Poem for June

This poem was inspired a few years ago by fraught attempts to talk like grown-ups when surrounded by toddlers. It isn't bitter - those days pass all too quickly.

A serious conversation

Having a serious conversation
when there are children around
is like
         Get down from there, please.
a chain of
         Get down.
         One, two,

         Thank you
nearly disconnected
         It's all right, you're not hurt.
Starting different sentences
that may not be connected.
Islands of coherence
in seconds of silence which
         What are they up to now?
         Hang on ....

         .... they're OK
and coming back to
earlier sentences
         What are you up to?

         Answer me, please!

         Well, give it back then. It's not yours.
earlier sentences
that you may have already said.
A distracting
noise, a comforting hug,
negotiating a two minute
delay to the start of a jigsaw.
         I'm talking - wait!
and so much left unexpressed
or forgotten
         Can you put your shoes on again, please?
that having a
         Where did you put your coat?
serious conversation
is like
         Say goodbye.
         Say goodbye.

         Don't you want to come again?