Three Poems by Fiona Sinclair

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.
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. 

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