Monday, 3 March 2014

A poem by David Cooke


My aunt Peg was a country girl
who couldn’t wait to leave it.
She was flighty, flirty,
and married a gambler
with a Clark Gable moustache.

The first place they took her on
was a Camden Town tea room
where they had a Margaret,
so made her a Peggy
instead, as if that day

were a new beginning
among the fancies,
scones, and slices –
the serviettes and doilies
she insisted upon

until the end of her days –
like the fags that kept her slim,
out of sight in a wardrobe
long after, officially,
she had ‘packed them in’.

In the photo they placed
on the coffin she looks
like a forties starlet. Her head
at an angle, she’s staring
into a softer light. 

David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published his first collection, Brueghel’s Dancers in 1984. His retrospective collection, In the Distance, was published in 2011 by Night Publishing and a collection of more recent pieces, Work Horses, has recently been published by Ward Wood Publishing.  His poems, translations and reviews have appeared widely in journals including Agenda, Ambit, The Bow Wow Shop, The Critical Quarterly, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, Magma, The North, Orbis,  Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp and StandI have also attached them in a single word doc.

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