Helen Jeffrey

Donald’s Pies

With pies in hand, like payment,
he’d visit unannounced late autumn
as veils of fallen leaves left trees
stark; emaciated; but still standing.

Mum would pressure-cook some tatties
and we’d eat – plenty on the plates.
Air taut; with trauma contained that
I didn’t see with my little eyes.
Talk trivial; Donald strained and stained,
skin as yellow as artist’s ochre.
Later we women folk went up.
Then male monotonous murmur, like
a blanket of bees in summer
would rise, lulling me over while
they revealed, relived a past of
brutal beatings – torture for tracks.
No soft purr from the Burmese cat.
A slow release in whispers, of
things the psyche should not see.
A dram raised to clichéd comrades
left behind, ‘laid their lives on the line.’

And in the morning he’d be gone.
Safety valve released; and yet, festering
scars of burden would re-open, return.
So then would Donald, with more pies.

Copyright © Helen Jeffrey 2015

My name is Helen Jeffrey. I work in my own business in Ayrshire and write as a hobby.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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2 Responses to Helen Jeffrey

  1. What a fine poem. It’s very simple on a first reading and carries the strength which comes when simplicity combines with a powerful situation. It’s also effectively under-stated – and then we notice those various details which add complexity – the alliterations and the ironic parallels (the emaciated trees, the Burmese cat).

  2. Helen Jeffrey says:

    Thank you Robert, I appreciate your comments.

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