The half starved virgin
Mother told me not to be greedy,
to sit on my hands and wait.
‘Hold in your stomach and tighten,
you never know who’s at the gate.’
Mother always looked good in an A-line,
kept her fingers off the cream buns.
Smoked cigarettes at breakfast,
tried filling her hunger with puns.
‘Keep smiling at those dancing boys
be cheerful and do not pout.
Go walking, cycling, play games of cards
and never ever give out.’
Mother frowned at my father’s kiss,
sat straight on her stool thinking thoughts.
Did the crossword and drank fizzy water
for the little pleasure it brought.
I wore white on the night that he took it –
a boy with clean nails and a purse.
He spent longer than I thought
but during it I caught
desire is a belly full of want. Now
give me some sweet with my sugar,
give me chocolate with my wine,
give me tongues in my kisses,
give me rapture in my crying.
Give me saunas in the sunshine,
give me plunge pools in the rain,
give me sand in the desert,
give me ecstasy in pain.
‘Leave the table wanting more’ said mother,
To hell with that, I state.
Give her food when she’s hungry ,
unlatch the half-starved virgin’s gate.
Bobbie Sparrow‘s poems have been published in many journals including Orbis, Crannog, Skylight 47, The Honest Ulsterman, Cordite, and Southword. Bobbie won 3rd prize for her Chapbook in the Blue Nib competition 2018 and came second in the Saolta Arts Trust Poems for Patience competition 2020. Her Chapbook Milk and Blood was commended in the Fools for Poetry competition 2020 and she was nominated as one of Dodging the Rain’s best published poets 2018/19. She loves lake swimming and cycling downhill.