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Isolation fantasies

Updated: Jun 11


IMAGE: Interpretation of the text


It was the best of times:

the garden was at its most beautiful.

The bride and all the pink and white bridesmaids

from the blush pink of the magnolia

to the dear little white faces of the daisies

bloomed in anticipation and delight,

the grass was cut and watered and fed until it

captured the green spark of the April sun.


I pushed myself out in my wheelchair,

the first day it had been warm enough for me

in these worst of times to leave the house,

to find out what had gone on in my absence –

and what I found was my absence.

These were not my blossoms, my bulbs,

my mossy grass. Someone had been in

while my back was turned and transformed

my garden into Pollyanna-land.


In my garden wedding, the groom was late,

the best man stoned, I’d never met

the daisy-like flower girls before,

the grass was too soft for high heels

and I twisted my ankle, the promised

brief shower turned into a thunderstorm,

and the bridegroom’s mother said to my mother:

these mixed marriages, they never last.


But those were after all the best of times.

The worst of times followed as the ghastly

mistake of a honeymoon was fleshed out

by a sordid blow by blow of a marriage,

(a thing I was too cowardly to run away from)

as a dirge was heard on every piano

from every open back window of the street

where people knew of my shame and sorrow.


Best of times, worst of times. At least

they were better than being stuck in this

wheelchair with only the ghosts of memories

of my poor old Pollyanna self to keep me

company these dark and solitary nights.


Written by ROSEMARY MCLEISH


Artwork  ‘The Worst of Times’ by MIKE CLAY

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