Tuesday Poem

I was going to say no to this suggestion from Claire, from Mary; I’m not a poet. On the other hand, it looked like more fun to join in, and I’ve written a few poems I’m not entirely unhappy with. Thanks, Mary. Thanks, Claire.


We say yes to the queue
of people who look like us.

Yes to the woman giving tickets
in exchange for our socks and shoes.

Yes to the wait on winter asphalt,
Yes to the doctor checking soles.

We say yes, I am ready
yes, hold my hand
yes grass, yes fire
But oh!

at the brink

no. No, no. Our feet say no.

And yet the queue, the crowd, the doctor and the drummers;
and over there, our proud shoes wait.

We say, go. Plunge, wade, leap, whimper, hoppit!

Later, we hold our feet. We murmur to our toes.
Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.

5 responses to “Tuesday Poem”

  1. I love this poem, Pen! It’s such a perfect mix of courage and temerity! How often we behave like moths! Enticed by the flame, only to be scorched. But therein is the learning… and – lucky for us, not so the moths – life keeps offering us opportunities, little tests to do with discerning distance and which coals we must, or must not, walk over! I especially love the last two lines – “Later we hold our feet. We murmur to our toes/Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.”
    So much of life is like this! xx

  2. Thanks for your Tuesday Poem, Penelope. It seems to me it speaks rather wonderfully to Harvey’s poem – movement, feet, playfulness – but, oh, your feet talk! The handing of language over to the feet is fascinating and underlines the nakedness the people in the poem feel, without their shoes, without their ‘civilisation’ … walking on fire.