Friday sex and family


On my mind

Fridays are for finishing off, dashing away,
For Friday night drinks.
Fridays are for calculations —
Who to visit, and how many,
In the next two days.

Fridays are for the weeklong day worker,
The old nine-to-fivers, the new eight-to-niners
Fridays run into the Easybeats;
Fridays are a stack of 45 eps —
Stored but never replayed.

On Fridays at three, mothers sigh
At the weekend Siberian landscape —
The forty-eight hours of swing pushing, sport,
And sibling mediation.

On Fridays, school kids forget to bring their homework
In the haste to leave the institution,
And waltz, chatting with their mates,
Home to the land of the free.

There are traffic jams on Friday,
And women, imagining their wardrobe choices for a date.
There are weary smiling workers recovering from a Thursday night event.
There are men planning this, the second weekend, with their family.
There are married couples —
One in the throes of giving up hope of being touched,
The other working hard to ensure the weekend is chaste.

Weekend conferences, workshops, classes and lunch.
Football, club dinners, twenty-first birthdays.

But those belong to the weekend, not Friday.
Friday carries that heavy grey cloud of hope in a drought.
Friday is a ticket to the cinema before the lights go down.
Friday has the lawnmower silent with the blades unknowably blunt.
Friday buys the books and keeps receipts as bookmarks.
On Friday the term 'fair weather' sounds flattering,
sex hopes to be between-two-people-sex, and
sleepiness is permissible at all times — except doing that, and driving.

Friday is the sergeant major, subordinating the previous days of the week.
Friday is the gateway to two days of open promise.
Friday is the superstar walking through your living room.
Friday is a numerical calendrical construct.
This day is a suitcase the weekly traveller holds in his or her imagination,
with a remnant of childhood singing
how extensively delicious the holiday ahead would be.

–Margaret McCarthy

The crowded train

I am looking down
at a blind man's legs
and his white stick.

Then I see a wedding ring
on an old man's hand
close up.

The girl next to me
is a voice
and the smell of wet.

She was stuck at Richmond
I was caught at Laburnum
the sky spoke in extremis.

The rain was horizontal
the wind blew us together
onto this very late train.

I am the brim of my hat
perhaps, or a glance
from under it.

Jennifer Compton

Margaret McCarthyMargaret McCarthy is a poet, writer and teacher based in Seddon, Victoria.

Jennifer ComptonMelbourne poet Jennifer Compton's most recent book of poetry, This City, won the Kathleen Grattan Prize in New Zealand. 

Topic tags: new australian poems, Margaret McCarthy, Jennifer Compton, On my mind, Crowded train



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Existing comments

Thanks Margaret, It captured the elated feelings of Friday so well. Reminded me to plan that chasteless weekend with my hard working darling wife.

Peter Quin | 09 August 2011  

Funny and poignant poem Margaret.

Michelle Aung Thin | 09 August 2011  

Fridays will never be the same after reading this. They will hold that little bit more promise....More please!!

bruno lettieri | 09 August 2011  

I love it Margaret. You've captured that anything's possible, threshold feeling that comes with Friday and ISN'T the same as the weekend feeling. Do you do other days?

kristin henry | 09 August 2011  

Thanks everyone. I think 'chasteless' is a good new word for the dictionary.
And, Jennifer, I enjoyed that "horizontal wind" bringing people together and the liveliness of the glances under the hat. Yours is a vivid poem to share the page with. Margaret

Margaret McCarthy | 10 August 2011  

You've captured the feeling Margaret - great poem. And I like Kristin's idea - I'd love to see what you could do with 'Sunday night'

Sue Youens | 10 August 2011  

more wonderful examples of how immediate, real and touching poetry can be. You would think, given the much remarked 'short attention span' of youth that poetry would be a 'natural'.

Why is it so many (myself included) leave the best till last.

Terry Phibbs

Terry Phibbs | 12 August 2011  

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