Poetry Drawer: Nappies: Island Dreams: Polly Poodle’s View with a Room (Sestina) by Wendy Webb


Nappies. Knew nothing about nappies
in 1965, nor 1970.
Nappies in 1980 meant:
Big Sis with toddler under one arm,
milk bottle in her mouth
and my camera playing tricks.

Yet in 1993 we bought full-size/
boy/known brand
and experts in disposables
within a week.
Tried pull-ups, swim shorts,
recyclables: sodden, all.
Too scared of pins.
Nappy mountain friendly;

Advanced driving next:
ante-premature super-mini
(and willie test-tube in the hospital).
SCBU/humilactor/and that gentle
sweet aroma of breast-fed Tinies.
Experts in six weeks.

Gave up on nappies in 2000
(incontinence pads reach the parts…).
Occupational Therapy assistance,
a life-saver. Granny grab-rails
to assist the ‘crouch and drop’
of special needs. Learnt in no time.
A year for collection of
discharged equipment.

So, when I say that I’m thankful:
the Care Home took charge
of extra-small dementia and
personal care… Nappies.
Nothing extra-sweet
like a pure breast-fed baby.

Island Dreams

Happenstance of Zoom meetings:
it was a new day, a new name, I could manage
to sign in/unmute/and Leave.
My dreams, like hot air balloon rising post-sleep,
for friendship on a little ethereal island
for a couple of hours. Memories are made…
of – a name – Poet and Editor,
speaking on Publication and Performance.
Vibrant young speaker challenging beginners
and experienced poets to move forward, floating
on enriched tomorrows; avoiding drowning lands.
Awaiting the fruitiest stork to fly in, select the wing-
beat for a new birth; far at sea before sunset.

I wake to stacked competition, soft mess of guano
bleaching the Farne Isles (post-season). Lark rise…

Polly Poodle’s View with a Room (Sestina)

I watch that awful photo fade so fast,
regret the scuffs and scratches from that time
no-one could imagine as worth preserving.
It was just a flat, shared grounds, open-plan,
somewhere to leave in daylight (leave behind).
So many times returning. One day, gone.

I know it was expected, now you’re gone,
I thought that bin estate would not fall fast.
My memories of you are there, behind
those boarded windows into frame-washed time.
I had thought to improve your room: a plan
that vanished – with you – nothing worth preserving.

The mantelpiece a hazard. Worth Preserving?
You knocked your head; the bed-head wrong. Now gone,
within such view (your things/path/grass). No Plan
to catch and throw each stick beyond that fast
road without a crossing, just dodging Time.
Don’t cross to corner shop. Don’t look behind.

I found it on the sideboard (bills behind
your lottery card). Was it worth preserving?
A rug/a chew, yet dog-hairs spread in time,
exacerbating your chest. Now long-gone,
Polly-Poodle. Oh, such a dame! So fast,
she ruled your heart (and purse), yet no Vet’s Plan.

You should have moved – for her, for you. A plan
for slowing down, city living left behind,
before that pooch ran out, wagged tail, too fast
for doggie treat from old man. Worth, preserving?
He left for hound-view heaven. Now all’s gone:
the flats, the paths, the busy road. And, time.

You kept quiet (what the doctor said). Your time
vanished before last visit. All cold-plan,
to pack/house clearance/keys; a service. Gone:
nostalgia/demolition/visits behind
one scratchy late-found photo worth preserving,
while I breathe peace to my view, over breakfast.

So now it’s time to leave this frame behind,
within my heart. For what plan’s worth preserving?
They’re gone, self too, releasing heaven’s fast.

Wendy Webb: Born in the Midlands, home and family life in Norfolk. Published in Indigo Dreams, Quantum Leap, Crystal, Envoi, Seventh Quarry) and online (Littoral Magazine, Autumn Voices, Wildfire Words, Lothlorien, Radio: Poetry Place), First in Writing Magazine’s pantoum poetry competition. She devised new poetry forms; wrote her father’s biography, and her own autobiography. She has attempted many traditional forms and free verse. Favourite poets: Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Burnside, John Betjeman, the Romantic Poets (especially Wordsworth), George Herbert, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Mary Webb, Norman Bissett, William Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

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