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  • Lucy Holme

Primrose in Watercolour | By Lucy Holme

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Primrose in Watercolour


I don’t like the way you made me look

Cruel, old, dispassionate.

You drew my eyebrows wrong.

My hair line-disappears (like the years) it’s true

but for such a pale and wide expanse I was not prepared.

Am I really so leaden?

It’s a shame you caught nothing of my playful wave.

Oh, the deep vee of my blouse! There is no heart opening there,

you closed me off, made me rootless, sharp

like the head of a pin floating on a hospital bedsheet.

Were it not for my twinkling brooch

you could imagine my head upon a flagpole.

I asked for you, because I was told you were the best

and I want to leave my mark. So they can know a woman

in her prime. See that I worked and lived,

content in my fashion.

But I don’t like the way you made me look

like I had no other choice.


You always knew just how to look

Proud, wise, gay.

A flicker of amusement in your right eyebrow,

your russet lips pursed as though suppressing a joke.

I wanted to reach out, separate your auburn waves

my fingers like a wide-toothed comb. But you were ready in advance.

Your porcelain smooth forehead, unmoved by me.

You pet your tabby cat throughout but asked I leave her out

said you thought it spinsterish or gauche,

preferred I made a study of you alone

and I made sure to blur the tiny feline hairs

which clung to your starched nurse’s uniform.

I hoped to paint you since our youth, Primrose.

Prayed each year you didn’t leave for Liverpool or King’s—

for adventures beyond this stuffy drawing room

with a view of the hospital—kept the matrix nebulous, undefined.

You always knew just how and when to look for more,

there is a rich life uncharted for you yet.


Originally from Kent in the UK Lucy Holme moved to France after completing a BA in English Literature and Language from Manchester University. She spent twelve years travelling the world working in the private yachting industry before leaving to work as a sommelier and complete a diploma in wine and spirits. She moved to Cork City, Ireland in 2013 for love and currently writes poetry and short fiction whilst raising her three small children. One of her poems was shortlisted in the O’Bheal International Five Words Poetry Competition 2020 and five poems were recently published in Poethead.

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