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MARIA ISAKOVA-BENNETT

 

 

 

Maria Isakova BennettMaria, from Liverpool, has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, works for charities as an artist and poet, and is published widely in the UK, US, and Ireland, including work in Antiphon, Boyne Berries, Crannog, Envoi, Orbis, Prole, and previously in Southword. During 2014 Maria was highly commended in the Gregory O’ Donoghue Competition, shortlisted in the Munster Literature Fool For Poetry Chapbook Competition, and awarded first prize in the Ver Open. This year her first pamphlet was published by Poetry Bus Press. Maria collaborates with the poet Michael Brown on projects in Art Galleries in Liverpool.

 

 

 

 

On my fortieth birthday

 

 

 

I’m shivering in Lime Street

when a girl dressed as a blackcurrant asks me,

 

‘Do you know how much sugar is in Ribena Toothkind?’ 

‘None, I hope,’ I want to say,

as she shuffles her charts like a croupier.

 

I button my pink woollen coat.

At my feet a PhD proposal

has slipped through my ripped pocket.

 

I hear Dr Richard scoff

about forty year olds doing PhDs,

and kick Art History out of sight.

 

If I was St. Peter, I’d set off hopefully,

to walk across the sea,

but with one barbed comment I’d go under.

 

God would be on the horizon, a finishing line,

yelling, ‘You’re doing fine,’ and I’d whisper,

‘You’re just saying that to be nice’.

 

‘I’m easily floored,’ I tell the blackcurrant.

‘Floored?’ she yawns. 

‘Sorry,’ I say. ‘I don’t drink Ribena, cruel or kind.’

 

As though a loudhailer warns,

‘Take only what you can carry’—

I stuff life into my pockets; the trouble is the holes.

 

I hurry to the station to be home for my daughters —

an empty house isn’t a home.

I light the fire and bake cakes

 

and late at night while they sleep,

I read about Natalia Goncharova

and try to mend my pockets.

 

 

©2016 Maria Isakova-Bennett

 

 

Author Links

 

Two poems by Maria Isakova-Bennett at And Other Poems

'Canvas': poem in The Fib Review

'Song of Songs': poem by Maria Isakova-Bennett in Antiphon

'Found': poem by Maria Isakova-Bennett in ink, sweat and tears

 

 

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