And Though It Goes On by Tessa Foley

On one short year, as opposed to the rest, my best
Friend of young life sunk to eyes in pink water,
All the teeth of her comb lay beside her in stretches of
Pools and the finder who breathlessly stole to her side
Was a bride three months later, a mother by six. How’s tricks
Said the father who’d fathered another, his brother guessed
Numbers up until wealth and his health got much worse
As he drank pink Champagne. We all ate at his place in
November, I remembered the death, tapped my fingers
On linen, the room softly spinning as the kids played
In rings. Topknots flew in and out and then stouter from
Grief, the man who called everyone ‘Chief’ was touching me
Hot on the shoulder, he’d had three or four wives, all the lives they
Had had. One was dead, one was living and one was in Deal.
I never knew if the fourth one existed and listed his children
On named porcelain plates, A woman he knew had
Stitched names on to bears, the next year, her brother
Bought himself a fiesta, brand new on the forecourt, it ran until
May, several days from the breakdown, the car salesman
Flew, He was destined to go to the East in the middle
And sample sky highs and look downs, in the towns
Spread below, all the pavements continued and in colder
Countries, the road signs still stood, in the woods birds kept
On cackling, trees nodded and shook, all who looked
At the world agreed times, dates and places, faces were rated
And tins were best dated, lorries long distanced, stop start of
Trains, baby teeth down the drains, young woman first kiss,
Young man with new glasses, correct answers and passes,
Birthdays tick and crosses in cards, perseids showers and
Lying for hours in green acred fields, jars of cream, guitar strings
And all of the matter that days and nights bring.
Five years to the day and it all had moved by, widely crying
I thought of her orders and taunts, “I will haunt you,” she said
“If you ever forget me. I will haunt you,” she said
“If you don’t.”

***

Tessa Foley is a writer originally hailing from Flitwick, a tiny town in Bedfordshire. She works at the University of Portsmouth where she previously gained her Masters in Creative Writing. Published by magazines including Agenda, Antiphon, Dying Dahlia, Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review and Star & Crescent and recognised in the Verve Poetry Competition, Bristol Poetry Prize, Poetry Rivals Competition and long-listed in the 2015 National Poetry Competition. She also won the Live Canon International Poetry Competition in 2013, judged by Glyn Maxwell. Her first collection is due to be published this year and will include poems which can be found on her website www.tessafoley.com

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