MAG Poetry Competition 2010 – Shortlisted Poem
My Parents' Bedroom
a padded, studded headboard at the bow.
Straight across the hall from mine,
it gleamed like royalty.
Over there, my mother’s dressing table:
white, gilt-edged, a glass sheet over damask lace
on which hairbrush, comb and hand mirror
nestled in velvet.
Here, my father’s crumpled handkerchiefs,
a scatter of battered paperbacks, bridge magazines,
the soft balls of yesterday’s socks:
a trove of sweat and grime.
Evenings he would return, raise the anchor,
draw curtains over the portholes
and tell us tales
of the strange new worlds he’d seen.
Alone I’d creep across the purple pile,
hold my balance against the sea’s sway
and drape myself in silks,
pearls and white high-heels.
Slipping in on Sunday mornings
between the salty air and deep skin,
I’d lie awake listening
for the creak of beams and planks
and the scuttling of galley rats.