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DANIEL P. STOKES

 

 

 

 

 

daniel stokesDaniel P. Stokes is a poet and dramatist. His poetry has been published in magazines and journals on both sides of the Atlantic and most recently in The Stony Thursday Book and Revival. His plays have been produced in London, Dublin, Bath and Edinburgh. He has written and performed two one-man shows – Metered Heartbeats, an anthology of 20th century poetry and God, Men, and God Knows What, based on the writings of James Stephens, which won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and subsequently toured in Ireland and in the U.S. He writes and directs for the French language Theatre Company – French Theatre for Schools.


 

 

 

 

 

Avocado

 

I suppose the years left me complacent.

I suppose. I hadn’t meant to be.

Present rolled to present

Promising the same. Until

The niggle. He was different.

Not very. Nothing I did not put down

To me imagining. Then

Something on his mind. Of course,

A new poem festering. But no,

I’d suffered through those symptoms.

It wasn’t that.

                      Best left, I said, and set no store

At first in odd-hour phone calls nor

Queried nights he had to stay away.

But vagueness, smugness, slips

He’d barely deign to cover

Forced me to face it.

                                   Without anger.

Shaken. Shamed he needed something

Somewhere else. I’d let myself down.

Hadn’t kept aware that this might happen,

Nor known how much I didn’t want to share.

 

She permeated my imagination:

What she looked like, what she did,

How she’d enticed him. I vamped myself

While picturing an opposite to me:

Elegant, confident, young,

Who’d never let her lipstick smear

Or fart in public. How long will it go on?

What will he tell me? I suppose that he suspects

That I suspect. His next move?

What is she thinking? Not of me,

Assuming she’s aware that I exist.

I started, hand at cheek, before the mirror -

I wasn’t even sure if that was true.

I sought a sign to indicate his mindset,

A certainty to work from.

 

Strange angles lead at times to new

Perspectives. Had I not hosed

My feet today, while he was

Taking beach bags from the booth,

I’d likely not have noticed. Near

Centre of the road an avocado,

Cracked and swollen, sat blackening in the sun.

I sauntered over, loured. Then booted.

It burst against the curb. He turned

And tssked, “You’re still a bloody tomboy.”

A flash of pleasure surged

Till it suffused me. All

Would be alright. I was certain

He liked tomboys.

 

 

 

 

©2013 Daniel P. Stokes

 

 

 

Author Links

 

'Eighteen Next Monday': a poem in Poetry Ireland

Purchase Buying a Sweater, a collection of poems by Stokes, at Oak Knoll Books

 

 

 

 

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