Rose initial.jpg


Oh, Rose, where did all the years go,

tumbling back like an unbalanced acrobat

on speed?  

                  So how, sitting in the corner of a pub,

did the act so entertaining the crowd

fall into your leading part so tragically?


You poured your drink, surreptitiously as ever,

into another - just for kicks.

The party piece was removing the wig:

a shock tactic staged, so to leer out

from behind those knowing, hooded eyelids.

Tales of the stage mingled with tilting dreams,

as you sailed away - oh, so often - on another voyage

of failed recovery lost in a blur

of florid dresses and garish fingernails.

The botched lip smack meant the make-up artist

had been sacked years before, darling,

along with the valiant, stifled costume designer

consigned to a closet behind the bar.

Washed up, left beached, reed-thin,

your open purse only attracted false friends,

as you fumbled for comfort and pennies to spread.

Everything a performance, just to hear,

again, the applause for one last time,

before the crushed drapes closed on a career

that had drowned in waves of empty acclaim

and corpsed cod lines.  

                                       In the end, you found

your most convincing role: lying in a puddle

amidst the collapsed, broken rubble

of another pantomime pratfall;

leaking, desperate, so aching recognition.

In this littered scene, you achieved your desire:

a raw nakedness behind the costume

that had taken a tottering career path to find.

The mantelpiece beau had failed to turn up,

only his empty chair presented itself.

So, you fell in this final script, dressed in a guise

which had tried on too many distresses.

An act not meant for lead roles and fame;

a slow somersault too flip to be caught.

Rose had made a real scene at last.

And left in the clutter of a collapsed curtsy.

Bottom Rose.jpg