I saw you arranging Bouquets for a wedding And two funerals Lighting up the room yourself For all the plants to grow Despite a north facing window
I saw you cutting thorns Off a rose So nobody who loves it Gets hurt So I want to ask Where I should plant my roots So I can grow Am I a potted Or a free-growing plant How much sun I need And how often should someone Stop by to water me And trim my branches I want to bloom someday And lose all my thorns I know You’re used to flowers And I think of myself As a weed
She gazes in a kind of mystical awe at the myriad of socks laid out over the king size bed. Ankle socks, trainer socks, walking socks, Christmas socks, poodle socks (remember those?), long socks, posh socks, socks with holes in, even a special ballet sock. The most extraordinary feature of this collection is the fact that not one, not even the limited edition sock that has a personalized image of Gareth Bale printed on it, is a match.
In the school staff room, she recounts this discovery to the amusement (mainly) of her colleagues. One is, however, looking genuinely puzzled. “How?” the neat, tidy and super organized teacher asks in bewilderment, “How does that happen?”
“How does it not happen?” replies the Sock Queen. “How, how does anyone keep socks in pairs?”
Super organized teacher suggests gently that Sock Queen pairs the socks before they go in the washing machine.
“I’ll try,” promises Sock Queen as the bell goes to mark end of break. She leaves the staff room, now litter…
The jester mocks and tells his jokes, Whereas the king, he hears his word, And both they laugh ‘bout funny folks, Of braveries that they have heard.
And while the king is entertained, The jester smiles and shakes his head, For he’s a jester, friend and saint, Forerunners told him who are dead. The king is lost, they start to sing, They swap the crown for hat with bell, Who jester is and who is king, The servants ask, they cannot tell.
Polly, the housing support worker, drove Naomi crazy. Fat lot of support she gave her. Today she was asking about her boyfriend. ‘You are being careful, aren’t you?’ she’d said, in that fake worried tone of hers. Polly was a podgy blonde of around 35. She’d been perched right on the edge of Naomi’s second-hand sofa, like she was scared she would catch something from it, as if she was ‘being careful’ herself. Naomi - or Nai, as Hannah used to call her - had just turned 19. She wore tight Lycra leggings and a skinny top, her shimmery crochet cardi open at the front and accentuating rather than concealing her long cleavage and curves. “A right prima donna,” Polly’s colleagues had warned. “She’ll say she can’t see you because she’s painting her nails.” Polly stole a look. Naomi’s long talons were indeed impressive: today coated in dark varnish and topped off with glittering silver swirls. When Polly had asked if she was being careful, Naomi hadn’t answered. Nosy cow. And then Polly had start…
Hannah came from a nice part of Surrey where people gave their dirty clothes to a young man at the back door who brought them back a few days later, clean and ironed.
Once married to handsome Jerry, however, Hannah forfeited back doors and all that came through them. But her sweet-talking husband did buy her a washing machine and steam iron with some of their wedding money. He even taught her how to use them. Jerry, meanwhile, got on with betting on dead certs at various horse races around the country. Sympathy for Jerry’s rotten luck survived intact through three wedding anniversaries, the loss of Hannah’s heated rollers, camera, the best of their furniture and even some of her jewellery. Only when her washing machine was sold to pay the bookie who’d popped round for a chat late one night, did she begin to suspect that gorgeous Jerry was completely useless at backing the winning horse. Hannah had never used a launderette before. She arrived with her dirty clothes neatly folded in a suitca…