Monday, February 9, 2009

The ballad of Mabel McCartney

As the richly scented crocus
Craned its neck towards the sky,
It was difficult to focus
On the world beyond the gate.
Through the window darkly shattered,
Mabel trained her watered eye
On the garden, brown and battered,
Set before her on a plate.

They’d not spotted him come running
As they fled across the street.
He’d approached them with great cunning
As the bank’s alarm bells rang.
‘Twas an instant gut reaction
When she heard his pounding feet.
Crashed the gun with satisfaction
As the off-beat copper sprang.

Eighteen years of dumbly staring
At a thinly plastered wall,
Institutional, uncaring,
Left her vision badly flawed.
In her spectacled existence,
She could never quite recall
What lay in the middle distance
Where her memories were stored.

Her long tear was not remorseful.
No emotion spurred it on,
Independent and resourceful,
Automatically displaced.
Through the window she stared neatly
At the yellow head that shone
On the crocus gloating sweetly
O’er the winter’s ravaged waste.

Though her single room was tiny,
That was where she spent her days
As the cars, so new and shiny,
Blurred past on the street outside.
On the day that they found Mabel
All the street was bathed in haze.
There was a crocus on the table
And her eyes were open wide.