Cliche, by Terri Metcalfe


I could throw caution to the wind,
put all my eggs in one basket,
be a beacon for change
and give absolutely no fucks,
because at a certain age
it’s important to choose a cliché.
I could carry my pre-middle age
in a wicker basket,
amongst Gitanes and cognac,
and a Bichon Frise
I’d swim in the sea wearing only
a paisley headscarf
and oversized sunglasses.
I could develop a passion for plastic appendages
remoulding myself as “Polly Murs”,
rename the kids “Tupperware” and “Teflon”
influence the influencers
and become a cartoon of my former self.
I could grow my facial hair
into a handlebar moustache,
disappear from the internet
join MI5
and tell everyone
I’m now a European truck driver.
I could sell raffle tickets for a kidney,
host bingo for a pint of blood
defraud my siblings into handing
over mum’s Jacobean furniture collection
and leaving them dad’s Elvis memorabilia.
I could take up marathon running
but only on days with a c in them,
run for council
but only for a party with a heart in them,
adopt stray dogs
but only ones with a bit of feline in them.
Then again,
you can’t teach a young leopard new stripes
and a cat doesn’t change its tricks.

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