Back when friends read Jackie,
wrote to Cathy and Claire about
wearing two pairs of knickers
just in case, whether it's possible
to get pregnant from oral sex,
or for advice on two words
they couldn't yet pronounce,
premature ejaculation, I didn't write.
Years on, when I noticed spotting
after a barn dance, turned away as
new life dripped out of me until
I felt emptier than a squashed bottle,
I couldn't speak, let alone write.
Nor the next time. Or the next.
Nor the day Martin clattered his things
together, told me, grey faced,
he couldn't stay in a home that held
no hope of chattering children.
I'm writing today to ask for guidance.
I have a friend, you see. She's older now,
can't get out much. Sits in the window
watching the schoolchildren walk by,
waits for a bell that never rings.
Do you have any advice for her?
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Nicky Phillips would
be pleased to hear them.