I Can Only List Four of the Ten Anti-Stress Tips Discussed in the Seminar

Should I worry about this too?

I am lying on a nylon carpet – its pile flattened by thousands of feet – near to the photocopier – with fifteen or so other work colleagues – our hands turned palm up like splayed starfish drying on a barren shingly beach – listening to each other’s breathing – we are supposed to be listening to our own – but the distractions are heavy –

Learn to relax – the anti-stress therapist says in a smooth monotone over the CD recording of pan pipes – think of walking down steps into a sunken gardenthere is a small stream and water babbleslisten to ittake off your shoes and feel damp moss push softness against your foot-solesyou will sleep

Later, in bed the steps give way to the real shadows punctuating the bedroom ceiling between the gathers of curtains suspended from curled metal rings fanning the lights of cars – strobe-like – over me – and the imagining of bare feet hanker after a pair turquoise, vegetarian ballet pumps. Soft too. While distant traffic pouring fumes into darkness takes the place of the fountain’s watery singing scallops.

I turn over the day – dig through words – watch them centipede over each other and feel them burrow deeper in my thoughts. Think about not drinking wine, gin or too much coffee – remember caffeine is being used in the manufacture of tights – could it really burn cellulite? Could it? Thinking of sheer nylon now – the way it webs legs in its weightless mesh – like a word cocooning a thought until it is exhausted or eats its way out.

Jenny Middleton is a working mum and writes whenever she can amid the fun and chaos of family life. Her poetry is published in several printed anthologies, magazines and online poetry sites. Jenny lives in London with her husband, two children and two very lovely, crazy cats. You can read more of her poems at her website: https://www.jmiddletonpoems.com.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.