From Nothing to Declare by Harry Ricketts


What you find with separation
is everyone else had been
predicting it for ages; they just
hadn't got around to letting you know.

Michael for instance leading such
a fast life in New York that you
receive a postcard a year if you're
lucky ("Wish you were here. Toujours gai.")

now writes five closely-typed pages
proving conclusively that he'd
realised all along the two of you
were incompatible, having slept

with you both. Thanks Mike, you weren't
so hot yourself. And Zoe, who lives
with her brother, a King Charles spaniel,
two blue Persians and three white gerbils,

now says she read it in the stars
the day Robert Graves died, but didn't
feel it was her place to interfere.
I mean, que sera, sera, n'est-ce pas?

Footnote to Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
- Philip Larkin

To blame it on your mum and dad
and claim it's their fault what you do
takes quite a nerve - as though you had
no part to play in what makes you.

This fucked-up childhood myth's a line
that everyone's at some time used;
it may explain why you're a swine,
but not why you should be excused.

©Harry Ricketts