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Monday's Poem

© 2014 by Jude Neale

Jude Neale  was shortlisted for the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize (Ireland), The  International Poetic Republic Poetry Prize (UK),The Mary Chalmers Smith Poetry Prize shortlist (UK), The Wenlock International Poetry Prize (UK), The RCLAS International short story and Poetry Competition (Canada) where she placed second in both categories. She was long listed for the Canadian ReLit Award for her book Only the Fallen Can See (Leaf Press), shortlisted for Editor's Choice, Hurricane Press (USA), she placed second in the prestigious 2014 Pandora’s Literary Collective Poetry Competition and recently was a finalist in The Magpie Poetry Competition. She  achieved honourable mention in the Royal City Short Story Competition. She has just launched her third collection of poetry, A Quiet Coming of Light, a Poetic Memoir (Leaf Press). She is a singer and performer who enjoys connecting with her audience in her frequent readings.

Eighty-five Green Candles

Birthday preparations

I turn her lean alabaster back towards
the fancy hotel’s environmentally friendly shower,

gently stroke

her filth
covered bum
with my bare hands.

How do I erase my cool malice
that I carry from Barbie, Leave it to Beaver
and the graceful transformative blessing
of being Shirl’s daughter?

Now she steals my love by omission—

fashions it from rolls of pillowy soft
double-strength toilet paper,

that she carefully unrolls like dough
onto the bathroom floor’s plush carpeting.

Let me dry you with ten weeping towels
piled in the sink. You look away in shame,

look away.

Thank you

for teaching me how to forgive
your frailties and flesh eating loss.

This ancient act of bathing
sucks at my breasts—

call me your mother,
your daughter,

your own.

about us ::: guidelines ::: contact ::: order ::: chapbooks ::: Monday's Poem