‘Phoning Susan- A poem by Jean Hill

Jean PicJean Hill from the Wokingham Library Poetry Group has written a poem to make you smile:


 We ignored all the arguments

Told her not to make a fuss

We decided that the time had come

To have Mother live with us


We’ll manage all her finance

And as legal legatee

Make sure that our inheritance

Wings its way to me


So we turned around the box-room

Signed her up for Medicare

Bought a bed-spread made of candlewick

And an orthopaedic chair


She’ll sit by the radiator

In a quilted dressing-gown

We’ll keep Velcro slippers by the fire

For if we have to ask her down


You’d think she’d be quite grateful

Appreciate our sacrifice

But she threw her dinner at me

Followed by her prunes and rice


I’m at the end of my tether

I don’t know what to do

We need a family conference

So I’ll ring my sister, Sue


“What shall we do about Mother

Her mind’s flipped, her virtue gone

She went to that Ann Summers shop

And bought herself a thong


She’s found herself a toy-boy

They’re dancing in her room

Can you hear the music down the ’phone

My head’s vibrating with the boom


I don’t like the bloke she’s taken with

He’s got ear-rings – quite uncouth

She’s like a teenager re-cycled

And he’s revived his mis-spent youth


They’re upsetting all the neighbours

As last night at half-past two

They staggered up the driveway

I could tell they’d had a few


She’s bought eyelash extensions

Grown a fringe and had it lightened

Now she’s ringing up the dentist

To have her false teeth whitened


They’re going off on holiday

No, not Eastbourne by the sea

If they just planned to sit in shelters

I’d be more likely to agree


No, they’ve booked a Caribbean cruise

It’s caused a lot of trouble

Not for them two single cabins

They’ve gone and booked a double


The situation’s getting urgent

We must prove her mind’s unsound

She’s spending all her money

So I got the doctor round


She’s taken back her pension book

And they’re making out new wills

Now she’s poured gin into her cocoa

And won’t take her sleeping pills


I felt medical opinion

Would provide a bit of hope

That’s before she told the doctor

Where to stuff his stethoscope


I thought I’d better ring you

To get this off my chest

Now you won’t believe this, Sue

She’s chucked out her thermal vest


She’s bought herself some ‘leathers’

Doesn’t care that she’s a sight

In a fluorescent helmet

She’s riding pillion on his bike


Last night they went out clubbing

Disco-danced ’till after one

And, Sue, it isn’t seemly

For old folk to have such fun


I’d like to have her grounded

Turn the key and lock her in

She said she’d contact Age Concern

And found the number where to ring


She’s had her toe-nails polished

Now she’s gone beyond the pale

She’s the only old aged pensioner

With a blue-rinsed pony-tail


And she’s gone vegetarian

She’s out there hugging trees

And he’s into Morris Dancing

With bells tied round his knees


Yes, I might be menopausal

And hysteria is looming

But Sue – this is our mother

That this gigolo is grooming


But now this is the last straw

The one that broke the camel’s back

She’s got herself a tattoo

And I’m sure they’re snorting ‘smack’


Mother’s gone quite loopy

Don’t know what Dad would have said

Can you hear that thump and twanging

It’s the bed-springs on her bed


I’m going to barge right in there

I’m going to shout and rave

This house will know no peace again

Until she’s in her grave


Now I’ve got to ’phone the vicar

Get him here quick as he can

Mother’s just informed me

She’s ripped up her funeral plan


Sue, Susan, are you listening

Can you have Mother there

She’s driving me quite mental

And I’m tearing out my hair


I can’t cope any longer

My nervous breakdown’s overdue

I’m evicting Mother and her lover

They can come and live with you


Now Sue please don’t be horrid

To say I’ve feathered my own nest

You know I care for Mother

And acted for the best


I can’t believe you find this funny …..”

What’s that buzz – the dialling tone

My heartless sister Susan

Has hung up the flaming ’phone


By Jean Hill



How we got the news through Wokingham by Alan Brown

Alan Brown of  the Wokingham Library Poetry Group has  written a poem about his recent attempt to drive through the town.

How we got the news through Wokingham
(with apologies to Robert Browning)

He jumped in the Volvo with Maurice and me.
I buckled my seat-belt, we buckled all three,
then fired up the engine, demisted the screen,
and wiped the dashboard, where my coffee had been.
With road works denying its chance to deduce,
we knew that the Satnav would be of no use.

Arborfield, Coppid Beech and Twyford Road, too,
are building sites now, with new housing in view,
while old Denmark Street, which had long been one-way,
was just “No-Way, Jose”, for many a day.
The rat-run was tailed back on Evendons Lane,
with Blagrove Lane closed, just to add to the pain.

So which way to go to avoid the great jam
choking the traffic around Wokingham?
With the damned threeway lights on Finchampstead Road
confounding our progress, our journey was slowed.
For the first half an hour we moved at a crawl.
The next fifteen minutes we moved not at all.

As we sat in the queue we found with dismay
it gets even worse on Veolia day.
At last we agreed, with sad resignation,
we could yet be hours from our destination
and as we’d set out without toothbrush or comb,
we turned round our motor and headed back home.

Tired and defeated, we pulled into my drive
and mugs of tea later, began to revive.
The news that we carried must now arrive late.
Those eager to hear it would ponder our fate.
So as that harsh journey our spirits had vexed,
we played Grand Theft Auto and sent them a text.