Chink white light
thins my eyelids
and I rise
to iron white shirts
I should have done before,
lunch in a box
not white today, better brown
I'm pokered by a teenage frown.
I feed white fur, leave my white rendered house
and drive blank thoughts to work.
Pull on my uniform
crisp bleached white blue piped
my identity now confirmed
transparent drugs I draw,
the white pills and syrup put to lips.
then a family's despair
as life leaches
from paling grey to white,
stammers and stops.
Tears soak tissues, I try to sponge
the searing white hot pain of grief
at best I offer china white cups for tea
lay a crimson rose then close
the soft blue parted lips
over yellowing teeth.
That night white nightied and pillowed
the pages of my book blur grey
and white graduates the spectrum
to stain deep red
flushing the day's white thoughts away.
Winner of the Elmbridge Prize 2006
Theme – a life in colour