Sugarcoated

 

I don’t often write poetry. Some would say that’s a good thing.

Sugarcoated

Ding dong – here is the news.

She died today, which we took with a pinch

Since clogs so nice as hers surely shouldn’t be

Popped just like anyone else’s.

But there it was – her storied death, her shining shoes.

Always was so well turned out,

Neat as fresh fondant

Too fancy for pants, with her sugar spun hair

And her ladylike pearls.

*

She came from the East,

On a prayer and a promise,

Was said to be clever.

She had mastered the art, they said

Of mixing ice-cream with air

And charging twice the price.

It went further, she said, as we would

If we only stopped complaining

And bought company shares.

*

She brought us colour – true blue and pastel pink

Bigger televisions, better sound.

All the better to hear you, my dear

An investment – you see,

She’d spent so much money

On those Tate and Lyle tones.

Then discord in a Northern voice,

Emanating from that cold corner of the room,

Where our IceCream Queen usually shimmered and smiled.

A police baton, he said

Long as licorice, Pomfret black.

Caught him in the kidneys

And made him piss pink for a month.

*

We dressed in orange, in angry blues

Melancholy reds, optimistic yellows,

Blaring like bullhorns,

Trying to drown out the grey.

Battleship grey, like the floors scrubbed for coins,

The smell of disinfectant and the slow breaths of disappointment.

We settled our stomachs with halfpenny sweets

And went without milk.

*

It was no wonder we turned out badly,

We children of her revolution.

So, forgive us our bitterness, oh cupcake cognoscenti

We represent the lollipop kids,

And our childhoods were too sticky sweet,

Too short on moral fibre

For us to be better than we are.

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