Tuesday, 9 May 2017

I once had a bedroom... a poetry post


I was reading Jackie Kay's poem, Baggage, this morning, and her description of ships coming into dock reminded me of a period of time during which I lived in a former hotel on the headland above Douglas harbour in the Isle of Man.

This tall Victorian building had been divided into flats, and I lived in the top one. It's the only time I've really lived on my own, and I didn't suit it. I think I lost it rather, while I was in there, and probably spent far too much of my time lying in my bed, staring at that patch of sky. I can still picture that room, down to the peculiar skirting shelf, and the old wardrobe that could only fit in one place and couldn't contain most of my clothes. 

I was skinny then, due to poverty and having a bit of an eating issue, and I had loads of cheap as chips clothes from the 70s I'd picked up in charity shops. Lots and lots of colour in heaps beside the bed. I left most of it behind when I finally came to my senses and left. It was more important to get out than to take the stuff. The only thing I miss is my Loud CD!

I once had a bedroom in the top of a tall house

up stairs and stairs and stairs which never got easy.
My bed was a mattress on the floor
piled around with colourful clothes
I'd carried up stairs and stairs and stairs
but would leave when I ran away.

Above me grey chased blue in my own square of sky 
and seagulls angrily battered their demands of entrance.
They came every day but I never let them in
though I let in a neighbour who,
frightened, begged entrance
after climbing to find his own square of sky
which might let him in to be as high 
as he was, until he lost it 
and climbed down through mine.

Sometimes the sky shone blue and sometimes
it would get lost behind cloud.
I would wake to the bleak sound of the fog horn
and sometimes feel I was safe
within Manannan's embrace.

Ⓒ Cara L McKee 9/5/17


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