The Painted Lady by Oliver Fisher
On a walk to clear the mind,
Leave the kids, refuel on food.
Her bunnet slouches, kind of rude,
Cuff links cuffed and tie done up.
She bears a face-covering
That blankets the soul in this self inflicted
Unprecedented yet pre-predicted
Predicament she finds herself in
The boy next door is out of touch,
Clueless, dumb and unaware.
She paints her face and sternly stares,
Lying, in her underwear.
Her house is tatty, not a home.
Hollow hallways, stagnant air.
A dusty phone, nicotine stained,
Hasn’t rung and she doesn’t care.
In the mirror, facial warping.
Tears are falling upside down
And drowning in her dressing gown
Has got to be safer than walking.
If only she’d the luck of others,
Lucky them and their reflection.
Brittle brushes scratch her skin
And Mother’s hair fades thin in sections.
Her trolley trundles forward slowly,
Those coat pockets feel so cosy,
The boy next door is getting nosy
But bony bones make her feel lonely.
On a walk to break the mind,
Starving Mother, smiling child.
Her head is bald, bare faced grin.
Standing, naked, in the light.
Adult. Disturbing. Moving. Enigmatic. One to read again and again.