Jan Napier – My Neighbour at Sixty-Nine

Napier LE P&W Humour June 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Special Edition on Humour June 2024.

My Neighbour at Sixty-Nine, poem by Jan Napier.

My Neighbour at Sixty-Nine

She’s an early girly, strides the beach by the light
of fading stars, hair like a white bushfire flickering
around walnut features. Daybreak is honey puddling
porridge, news channel on mute. She comes out at dawn
and dusk, says she’ll puff to dust in sunlight, doesn’t
believe in high cholesterol, shouts at her doctor
that he’s not going to stop her eating chocolate,
wriggles into Mary Quant minis and stillettoes
on birthdays, says husbands are like helium
balloons, full of gas and bad for the environment.
Old photos of her Cocker, Toffee, make her face
a waterfall. She’ll never get another. They just die.
The orange tree goes unwatered, drops bitter little bombs
in winter because she’s over taking care of things.
She adores all things French except Marcel Marceau,
he’s creepy, wafts around the house singing La Vie en Rose
in a vodka contralto, op shop beret at a risque angle,
swears there’s nanobots in covid vaccines, mutters
bloody Russians or do I mean Chinese? Anyway,
she’s off to read Nora Roberts. Who else is there?
And her horoscope naturally. She’s a Gemini
but can’t quite make her mind up about that…

© Jan Napier

Jan Napier is a Western Australian writer. ‘Early: a morning,’ won the 2023 KSP Poetry Prize and her villanelle ‘Wiltshire 1840,’ won the 2022 Ethel Webb Blundell Poetry Prize. Jan’s work has been published in journals and anthologies both here and overseas.

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