A Pilgrim's Progress

On the perilous journey
From kitchen to shed
Bent low past the window
Where she stands, vigilant, washing dishes,
He dreams of sweet rewards
At journey's end.

Strong cold liquid
From his stash,
Smoke a fag, inside, sheltered, sitting on
Fragile stool, precious throne
In his secret kingdom

Then, on tiptoe, see over fence
Icy cool young widow
Takes in her washing
Bends low watering flowers
Then retires to empty house
And lonely bed he dreams to warm.

No one comes here
Safe from even the jade Princess, who locks him out
With his vice and dreams; as if
This solitary, blissful spot, six by ten
Is not his love.

All week he waits but never dares
Come here; for desperation would
Topple him.

Then, Friday night
Delicious and free
Drives home from hell
Tasting already heaven

But first, cautious, steals silently, tremulous, out the door
Through the thick fog of her smouldering resentment
On the perilous journey
From kitchen to shed.

Nicolette Turner

If you've any comments on this poem, Nicolette Turner would be pleased to hear from you.
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