Impromptu with sharks

I sat under the piano in summer 
to hide from the incoming sharks 
that my brother saw in the bath. 
We were underfoot while Mum played Chopin 
to calm us, her nocturnal children. 
My small ears didn’t like Beethoven, 
he was too loud and angry. 
My father had cancer in winter. 
I stopped talking to Ludwig, 
who still had his joyful hair. 
Schubert stopped chemo kisses, in spring 
remission rose to the surface 
one thousand times. 
I hear Beethoven these days and know he belongs to me. 
My father and I will argue about him 
until one of us dies. 

Sad Clive

comes over to talk about his dead wife every day. 
It’s not grief, it’s prospecting. 
He drinks too much on Sunday nights and has mortifying accidents on ladders. 
Sad Clive has an invisible girlfriend. 
She avoids the dead wife who still sleeps in his bed. 
Clive remains middle aged and unwealthy. 
I plan to exorcise Clive. 
My lover is obliging; 
he strides in the attire of a man in possession of his height. 
Clive’s wearing a lot of wet weather gear to lay concrete. 
He’s mortaring the dead footprints to keep them out of the bedroom. 
Clive comes over, uninvited 
and makes his own tea. 


Charmaine Thomson‘s poems have appeared in the 4th Floor Literary Journala fine lineBlackmail PressShot Glass Journal and The Fib Review. Her first collection of poems, Licorice, was published in 2012. She studied performance music in the past and is still addicted to Beethoven.