Tuesday Poem – “Lydia of the Lace Doilies”

Of course, she always had hordes of lovers
so whenever I saw her, fat and placid
termite-queen of the nursing home

I imagined her naked, lying
on a bed of animal fur,

                small
moustachioed men, smelling
of horses and sweat and woodsmoke

taking turns to lose themselves
in her plump white breasts,
her eyes closed, her full-blown
rose lips
            parting and unparting.

– Joanna Preston
from The Summer King (Otago University Press, 2009)

Using one of my own pieces for today’s poem is a bit of a soft option (no pun intended, but snigger if you like), but a couple of people asked me questions about it in Sydney, and it just came up in another discussion I was having. So hey, who am I to go against the universe’s nudge?

It span out of a mishearing – I overheard someone saying the first line with the sort of dripping disdain that you can probably imagine, and I had a sudden mental image of Lydia and her mound of furs (stop it right now).  The second bit of good fortune was that I wrote down the wrong version of the word “horde”, which triggered pretty much everything else.

I would like to add, for the record, that this poem is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to any actual person, living, dead, or living-dead, is purely coincidental, and fortunate for all concerned.

And no, I can’t give you her contact details.*

For more Tuesday Poems, visit http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/.

* Although you are most welcome to buy an extra copy or two of the book, so that you can see if it’s hidden somewhere deep in the spine of a few randomly selected copies … **

** Are you sure? Want to check another?

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9 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – “Lydia of the Lace Doilies”

  1. Congrats again on your Mary Gilmore success, Jo. I chuckled when I saw Lydia, because that was the poem you read when I first met you and I remember thinking: “Wow. I’m not sure I actually “like” that poem but it sure is a powerful use of the poetic form.” 🙂

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