Busy Dying

I used to listen to people going on about stuff but
time is precious and I don’t anymore.
I used to live in Germany
I used to remember the reg. no. of my car
I used to be more organized about paperwork
I used to get paid on Fridays – money in my hand
You rarely see actual notes nowadays.
I used to be in a folk band and sang Hard Times
I used to collect bits and pieces in an Old Curiosity Shop
biscuit tin. I still have it, full of treasure.
I opened it recently to place a square
of my mother’s granny print apron in it.
I used to live in the city
I used to listen to advice from friends
Now I listen to my own gut which is much happier.
My head is too.
I used to be a child. Some days I can still sulk.
I used to believe in The Waltons, The Little House on the Prairie,
Flipper and Tammy.
I used to look at the news, bought a newspaper everyday
but it’s all bad stuff.
The beautiful simple, seeing otters at the lake, isn’t news.
I used to chew Wrigleys gum
I used to know where I left stuff
Now I lose it all the time
Keys, pin numbers, beloved animals, my parents and friends
I’m still losing them.

I used to have two breasts, now I have one
I used to think the remaining breast
Should be in the middle of my chest
I felt unbalanced.
It took a year to accept this “new lookˮ.
I knew I was going to be okay when one morning
I was about to shout
“Has anyone seen my prosthesis?ˮ
Wouldn’t that be shocking funny?
I rolled back onto the bed and laughed.

I used to be busy dying now I’m busy living.


This poem was published by Bloodaxe
Books in their 2015 anthology
Hallelujah for 50ft Women edited by
Raving Beauties

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