I am forty-five
by Tony Jolley
Born barely three months ago,
When I crashed into my new world
Shocked and shaken,
Naked but for
The twenty years of blood and hope
Harboured by she who birthed me –
She who propelled me into be-ing
By the impassioned contractions
Of her certitude and faith in the me I knew not,
Her tender, rhythmic determination
Bearing down upon this child of potential unrealised
That I must become, must be,
Be never less than me.
She was there: one thousand miles close
When my eyes first opened
To an assault, a riot, a rage of clear, bright colour
Sometimes whispering, sometimes shouting for joy
In tongues this newborn alone could understand instantly:
Words, which wrote themselves, their glorious simplicity
In a most delicate hand
Upon the pristine folios of my spirit.
There in his Lakeland delivery suite
God himself appeared to hold me,
To dangle me upside down by the ankle
And deal my tend’rest parts
A single, stinging smack
From the Truth of His right hand:
A stimulus to awaken to Beauty.
My first intake of breath lasted a full two hours;
Not so much changing or adding to the range of senses,
Rather altering their focus and my perceptions.
Spirit was speaking to spirit
Without the soul or the hand holding the pen
Getting their well-meaning preconceptions and stereotypes in the way.
In the exhalation which filled two pages,
I became me.
I recognised myself in the mirrored surface of the Lake
And now, a stranger to self-deprecation,
I liked what I saw.
I had seen the reflection before in her words:
“You have to write, Tony. I have always known.
You have to write – You’ll see. You’ll know.”
As ever, her Love knew, knew me; knows me naked.
I was born, of her, a writer in my forty-fifth year.