David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Poem


I ripped the sheet from the writing pad
And screwed it up with a curse,
Nothing is worse! I’m fighting mad
When I can’t find a rhyme for a verse,
So the hour or two that I’d spent before
Had left Michelle in the air,
I hadn’t managed to rescue her
From the clutch of Jonathon Clare.

I tossed the sheet and it hit the bin
And I heard a cry of pain,
‘You’re not just going to leave me here,
Are you suddenly stark insane?
He’s got me tied to a chair down here
In a cellar, dark and damp,
But you’re just going to walk away?
And you call yourself a man! ’

I pulled the sheet from the rubbish bin,
I couldn’t believe my ears,
Straightened it out, the crumpled mess,
The sheet was covered in tears,
‘You’re only a paper name, Michelle,
I’ve given up on your fall,
And Jonathon Clare, he’s gone as well,
I’ve screwed him up in a ball.’

‘You think, ’ she sneered, ‘well he’s here with me,
And you’ve given him evil eyes,
You’ve left me stuck with a monster, with
A knife, you realise!
He said he’s going to carve me up
Do I have to scream and shout? ’
‘He’ll have to wait ‘til I give my leave
And I won’t, I’ll cross him out! ’

I took a pencil and crossed him out,
The evil Jonathon Clare,
Took the knife that he’d held on her
And cut her out of the chair.
‘Are you happy now, that you’re free to go,
I’ve done the best that I can.’
‘But leave me still in the cellar here?
By God, you’re a cruel man! ’

I took the pencil and stabbed the sheet
And rolled my eyes in despair,
I shouldn’t have used the name ‘Michelle’
For I’d used the name elsewhere.
That girl gave everyone trouble, when
I scrawled ‘Michelle’ with my pen,
Always bleating her civil rights
When I rescued her, back then.

‘Will you just shut up, I’ve had enough
From a girl who’s make-believe,
You shouldn’t be able to question me
Or the plots that I can’t retrieve.’
‘So I’m not to be given a say in things
The hell that you put me through?
You treat me like a chattel of yours,
That’s nice! - That’s fine for you! ’

I took the pen and scribbled a line
That would tie her to the stake,
Down in a Spanish courtyard back
In Fifteen Eighty-Eight,
I put a match to the crumpled sheet
And I said, ‘farewell Michelle! ’
(Before I scribble that name again
I’ll burn in the fires of Hell!)

29 March 2013

Submitted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Edited: Friday, March 29, 2013

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