Primrose in Watercolour | By Lucy Holme
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
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.