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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.

Are You Dead Yet?

One moment we're driving
along the mountain highway
telling each other our secret

(I had to admit mine
was Kraft Dinner
made with tinned milk.)

Then the loud crunch of gravel
and a sharp arc to the right.
We came to a stop between a tree
and a drop off.

I looked over to tell you

you're   an   idiot   driver,
and saw you slump like a bag of conkers
over the steering wheel.
so I panicked and forgot
to check breathing

      and something else too.

I tried to wake you. I did.
I moaned out your name
and slapped your face twice.
But you were a goner.

The emergency dispatcher
made it perfectly clear
that I'd done everything
by leaving you unattended
on the side of the highway

while I asked the young guy
in the truck with the tires

to help

you return
to your body
in the still-running car.

For who else would be left
to drive me back home?

I swung open the door
and there you sat
gleaming, alive.

I'm relieved
that I didn't have to phone
your ex

about your memorial service.

I know that she had first aid

and wouldn't ever have needed
to blurt out apologies

for abandoning you
like a dropped scarf

at the end of confession.



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