Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

Signing on for JSA

by Debbie Jellings

In his bed, surfacing fitfully
like a reluctant to finish swimmer
I see him, a shadow in the drawn curtain
light, moving only on my out breath
like a child not wanting to wake mum.
Sinking back, I wake later to his kiss.
His face, smooth and anointed.

And I see a handsome man, be-suited,
fifty, a knot of patterned silk
at collar's intersection; hair tidied
with out modish Brylcream; shoes
bulled as if for parade, a boy in jacket and kilt
meeting mum after chapel.
A briefcase of job searches.

And I see he'll not surrender without a fight.
This man. Dressed as though to meet
the Archbishop, Ghandi, the Secretary General.
This man. Divorced. Father of a boy, sequestered.
Renter of rooms in a house of warring youngsters.
Patient of subsidised psychotherapy.
Dressed for signing like a prayer.

Added: 13.12.2008