ONE POEM – Alice Foo

Photo by Fabrizio Conti on Unsplash

A Visitation

The angel comes unbidden
on a Thursday morning,
knocking briskly, handing me
a pineapple and thirteen coral-tinted roses.
He is shorter than expected. After dark
I hear him trying on my party dresses,
sighing at his blurred reflection
in the full length mirror.
When the sun comes up he’s more
bad-tempered than I’d bargained for.
He’s speed-reading my books:
at the end of every novel, tutting
he tears out the last five pages,
turns them to confetti and then scatters them
out of the bedroom window.
He does not appear to like my cooking,
oozing disapproval, sulkily refusing
to eat carbohydrates. Every morning
he makes khaki-coloured smoothies
from the contents of the salad drawer
and doesn’t bother rinsing out the blender.
I believe he is solidifying rapidly.
At bedtime he comes into the ensuite
to watch me bathe, avoiding eye contact.
He’s so much sadder than I’d hoped,
discreetly humming lamentations
as he lifts me from the water,
whispering a promise as he fumbles
with a towel and very slowly,
scrupulously, starts to dry my hair.

Alice Foo lives near York and is a full time parent. Her writing has been commended in the Poetry London Competition 2017 and the York Literature Festival Competition 2019.

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