Oxygen

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83: arrival

Serious little gentleman walks in checks in
Sits patiently through hurry hurry masks and wires

 

94: mask on

A comfortable in and out while we do puzzles,
put mouths where Mr Potato’s nose would like to be.

 

96: mask on

Pointing out the target reached and Mummy mask off
And finally some food now please and sips of drink

 

90: mask off

Eat and greedily eat and chat and gulp down drink while
Beep beep beep beep beep

 

88: mask off

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

 

86: mask off

Too long ignored, your ribcage heaves
and you talk. in bursts. of two.

 

97: mask on

Mask on watch TV and mask on do some sums and
mask on colour Peppa Pig in bold and violent red.

 

93: mask on

In sleep your peaceful resting face with green elastic tight
then sleep disturbed with slipping mask and slipping numbers

 

98: mask off

Unplug yourself for toilet trip slow slow wash hands
and amble back then show off your amazing score

 

95: mask off

The baseline and the path to home, the chart is ticked
and meds in hand you skip delighted to the door
A buzz a click and out you run to freedom and fresh air

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Fear and hair

I put my pre-school age kids in front of Finding Nemo (or “Lost Fish” as they call it) one day and it was not a success. There were too many teeth, I think.

 

Enter the World

Your world was safe, cocooned, defined
It was out and underlined
My arms your home
My hair your own
Image sound the world awash with colours friendly noises hugs and hair

You stood up, stepped and turned away
Charged into a world of play
A joke, a game,
You learned your name
Detach break free you ran off tugging me along by painful strands of hair

But with the wonder also crept in fears
New awareness came with tears
New lines to cross
With joy comes loss
Vast scenes and spaces gripping terror of a world without the comfort of my hair

Still I am always there
When dangers send you crying
you come flying to me cooking up some dish
you wail of “sad” and mourn for “fish”
unnamed undefined yet fear of dying
brings you crying hand still reaching
screeching for the soothing comfort
of my hair.

(c) Judith Kingston, 2014

 

I read this poem at the Virtual Open Mic Night on 25 March 2014 – watch it here!