Tonight’s poem “The Arms of Mater” by Tracey Curzon-Manners resonates in part because its depth sneaks up on you. Enjoy this prose-poem.
The Arms of Mater
I kneel before you and we both laugh in the struggle that ensues as minutes are spent forcing fresh socks onto stiff, twisted feet only for them to be soaked again in the effort required to stand.
Your face says it all.
It’s not your fault.
Sit down, we’ll try again.
The underwear’s a challenge but with one deft move and a little co-operation — your arms do seem to have a mind of their own (at least some part of you does) — a little manipulation and snap!
We’re in business.
I just need a minute…
Now then, what about these trousers?
I hold them up and contemplate the next crucial move.
Climbing the north face would be easier.
Let’s take it one leg at a time.
OK. Can you lift your foot – no, this one. Well done.
Take your time, there is no rush.
We have all day.
Your eyes beseech mine in frustration and it’s all that I can do to hold back the swell of a tidal wave of pain threatening to wash us both away.
I dam the cracks and smile instead,
All is not lost
Right, now this leg
Steady, hold onto me,
Don’t worry, I won’t let go.
I’ll never let go.
Your bony fingers grip mine, clinging on for dear life as
I must have clung to you once and no –
The irony has not gone unnoticed; it’s just too much to deal with right now.
Are you ready, arms up!
Alright, let’s do it your way, half way is better than no way at all.
I’ll pull your fingers through and the rest…should…follow.
That’s better, almost there.
Where on earth did I put the shoes?
It’s all very well you sitting there smiling, what have you done with them, you rascal?
Ha! Here they are you can’t fool me.
Shall we try standing again?
Put your arms around me and we’ll go on three.
I know, if we could only peel back the years
I think you’d find that…
This is no more than…
You have already done…
Tracey Curzon-Manners is a freelance writer and blogger. She has written several short stories, poetry/prose, children’s stories and a full length screenplay as well as a short, entitled ‘A Small Matter of the Heart,’ which was performed by The Ilkeston Youth Theatre in 2010. She uses her blog to explore and develop her writing craft and you can find her over at: boxofficegirl.blogspot.com/
Tracey is a member of the online community ‘Women Writers, Women’s Books’ and is currently working on her first novel.