Cowart's Common Room

I was reading my Salmon Poetry book in bed this morning, as you do and quite by chance I came across this poem and I thought of Faith.

This is a poem for Faith, but you could say it is for all of us really.

I hope the wonderful poet Patricia Monaghan won't mind me printing it here, we have been in touch in the past on the net.

The Butterfly Tattoo Effect

Charlene was fifty when she got it:
one small butterfly, perched on
her right shoulder, bright blue
with stipples of pink. Everything
in her life seemed safe by then:
husband, children, house and dog.
She wanted to be a little dangerous.

When she left the Jade Dragon
she called her oldest friend, Joanne,
in Florida, with the news. A tattooed
gal at fifty, she bragged. I ainít done yet.

Joanne laughed that throaty laugh of hers.
An hour later on her way to work,
she stopped on a whim and bought
a gallon of red paint for her door.
That night, she didnít drive straight
Home, but stopped for a drink at an old
haunt from her more dangerous years.
No one she knew was there, so she talked
awhile to Flo, the bartender, told her about
feng shui and red doors, and oh yes, she
mentioned the tattoo just before she left.

It rested in Floís mind all night as she
She was warmer than usual, sassy and loud.
Things got wild. There was dancing.
A new woman stopped in and picked up
one of the regulars. Washing up past midnight,
Flo thought of her old friend Paula, who
lived in California. It was still early there.

Flo picked up the phone, right then,
and called. Somehow the subject of Charlene's
tattoo came up. Paula had been thinking
of getting one too. Why not? Life marks us all,
why canít we chose our scars just once?
They talked till late. The next day Paula
walked into a dealership and bought
the reddest car she saw. By nightfall she was
driving fast, towards the sea. And the next morning

the world awoke to news of seismic convulsions
on every continent brought on by
the simultaneous shifting into high gear
of millions of women in sleek red cars.

Patricia Monaghan

Posted at 15th Dec 2008 - 01:16PM   Posted by Cait   A POEM Comments: 5

Milla's Avatar Great!
(still don't like tattoos, though Evil or Very Mad)

Posted by: Milla on 15th Dec 2008 at 01:18PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Excellent poem

. . . pooooo Milla go on give it a try you could have a lovely picture of Lolly (got that name and owner right too) tatted on your bum.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 15th Dec 2008 at 01:32PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar I just love LOVE this. Really chimes a chord. Not sure I'll get the tattoo but the sleek red car is darn tempting.

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 15th Dec 2008 at 02:10PM

Faith's Avatar Thanks Cait! Love it!

Posted by: Faith on 15th Dec 2008 at 06:54PM

Camilla's Avatar A wonderful Poem Cait, thank you for introducing me to this Poet. A Red Admiral Butterfly is still in flight in my bedroom, I will be sad when it is no more, so I will continue to see it's beauty for a while longer and not let it fly out into the cold damp air.

My daughter has just had a tiny Butterfly Tattoo emblazoned onto her shoulder.

Posted by: Camilla on 15th Dec 2008 at 10:27PM

Please login to comment

Sorry you must be logged in to post a comment