Poem of the week: Midlife Crisis

A new poem by Katie Donovan

Katie Donovan. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Katie Donovan. Photograph: Barry Cronin

 

I can’t help envying my new car,
with her pearlescent gleam.
My skin is wrinkly, my hair thin,
my teeth yellowing.
When I drove our old van
I didn’t worry
when it got scratched (again)
on our stony lane, or when
three pairs of soccer boots tramped in.
Just that unsolvable issue
with the brakes - forced me
to move on.
I should be happy –
after years of jalopies,
she’s the car of my dreams –
a hybrid saloon.
Sleek, slanty-eyed:
a show-room siren.
But I’m a bit past it
to learn her tricks,
and my back complains
when I twist
and slide inelegantly in.
No clutch or hand-brake,
just beeps
that addle me when I reverse,
and, as for my left leg –
it might as well not exist.
But she runs like a whisper,
light and lean,
and she’s clean.
She’s the future –
I must take the challenge –
I will grow to love her,
and I will outlast her.

Katie Donovan has published five collections of poetry, all with Bloodaxe Books UK. The most recent, Off Duty, was shortlisted for the Irish Times/Poetry Now award in 2017. She is a recipient of the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry.