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the madrigal, volume iii.v

Elizabeth Laverick

by d.w. evans

Blackberry wine puts me in mind of Elizabeth Laverick,
face brown and speckled as a hen’s egg,
her glasses big round owl eyes perching
suicidal on the bridge of her nose.

Nana was in clover the night Betty called,
bottles chiming like reindeer bells on Santa’s sleigh,
wine uncorked, poured, spilling ruby into amber
tumblers and downed with gusto:

                         silver haired old ladies transformed
                         into teenagers by nature’s rollick tonic.
Wine rouged lips, cheeks wine warmed, voices wine mellowed,
bodies wrapped in ermine stoles of nicotine.

Outcomes and after effects were just as chronic
as the daring toxic mixings of potent unknowns
shaking and stirring the under eighteens,
ciders, vodkas, deep-sea drinks of chemical luminesce
the stuff of blitz, bombs and blackouts.

Of the many results a winching to bed
             (socket straining, heft hoking
             upstairs elevating pull and push
             throwing manic shadows on the landing walls
             (all narrated in curse))

was not be mentioned.


                             You’re supposed to be babysitting!
got Nana grounded, and visits from Betty
forbidden for months -
which is no time at all for a maker of wine.

DW Evans lives in St Martin, Jersey. He has won the Alan Jones Prize (2019 & 2021), been shortlisted for Ó Bhéal’s Five Words (2020 & 2021) and the Wells Open Poetry Competition 2021, highly commended by Acumen (2020 competition) and Segora (2021). His poems have appeared in various publications including Frogmore Papers, Acumen, The Honest Ulsterman, Epoch, A3 Review, Madrigal and Dreich.

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