Photo of a young girl

April 21, 2014


I am waiting,
I am a blank sheet of paper.

I am afraid to smile;
my cheeks may crack and fissure.

I must not frown
or time’s tramlines
will be etched on my brow.

I fear the crow that is coming
to leave its footprints
at the comers of my eyes.

I am waiting.
I am waiting for a new Da Vinci
to make me his immortal icon.

(Rosa Thomas)


What Samantha does after dark
is not for agnostics. No one who sees
her drag an irate dachshund round the park,
the turbulence left by her striking girth
and voluminous draperies
drawing bewildered butterflies
into her wake, suspects the truth
Nor do Sunday gardeners charting her progress
with mock alarm, “No church today?” she cries,
to which the stock reply is “No,
afraid not. I have to cut the grass,
and besides, it grows on Sunday.”
“It does not,” she snorts. “It stops while you go
to church.” No one would ever guess,
as she billows boisterously away
to creak a pew, that Samantha alone
at night enjoys her greatest happiness.
Feeling her body all over for lumps,
blotches and tumours of the bone
(as shown in “Illness made Simple”),
she knows too well how the heart pumps
this life away. And knows the remedy:
with every possibly fatal pimple
or twinge she sinks massively to her knees
and prays eagerly, “I’m ready,
Lord, take me now. Take me now. Please.”

(Sam Gardiner)