These three poems by Fiona Sinclair focus upon turning sixty, against the odds. They reveal that unexpected opportunities arise, generated by a new mantra in which “everything now is a bonus”…
by: Fiona Sinclair
Mental Hack I assumed my parent’s legacy would be death to feel my collar prematurely. Inhabiting a body with a talent for false alarms meant expecting the worst became my best defence. And middle age was an exotic destination I never expected to visit. But in my 50s you hand brake turn my life, and giddy with fun I take my eye off the future, feast on the now, dampened fears only occasional flaring, you might be more trickster than saviour. 60th year all adventures are quarantined. I kick around the days, until pandemonium in my head, not the virus but every twinge whispering waking disease that I am de-skilled at managing now. To mark the day, pillion on your motorbike, the scenery rushes by like life post 40. Suddenly achieving sixty seems remarkable as all the other ways I have outstripped my parents. Then the gift of a mental hack, Everything now is extra.
Forgiveness Telling, that in childhood photos, you look more like an evacuee billeted on your family. I see it was open season on you after my dad’s death, the brother-in-law stitching you up proper your face bringing all that trouble tumbling down on you until you wished you were plain Easy, I suppose, for the family to cast you out then, and brittle friendships break And fate certainly tied bad luck to your tail, pitching you gutter wards your personality corkscrewing as you saw the world through a wine glass darkly, your mothering becoming unmotherly but time for me to forgive because the fact is, even now I can’t find the end to untangle —
It’s my funeral It’s all novelty funerals now, as if having the last laugh on death. But to me the punch line is still, the cortege carries a corpse. I’d prefer to be delivered direct to the crem, just you following the ‘private ambulance’ in a mini shout out- your leathers and motorbike the only black. Later a good dinner where chums are dressed in bunting bright and over brandy exchange anecdotes, that have you all crying with laughter.
Fiona Sinclair ‘s new collection, Second Wind, was recently published by Dempsey and Windle Press. Her poems, which are broadly autobiographical, deal with the possibilities of later life — from learning to ride pillion on a motorbike to falling in love again. Fiona is also very open when writing about her health issues, especially depression. Yet despite this her collections are full of humor and an exuberance for adventures when they present themselves. She lives in a village in Kent with a great many books and a feral garden that she battles with every year.