Warning: DO NOT EXCEED! – by Sarah L Dixon


Ok. I read the label.
For the first week I keep the load light:
a slim volume of poetry,
two pens (with lids on)
an A6 notebook.

By the end of the month
I can’t remember the capacity,
think I can fit in another book,
a mini first-aid kit,
some flyers, Sellotape and Blu-tack.

Then, the lids fall from the pens,
they leak on the notebook.
I throw it away and replace
it with a hardback one twice the size,
alongside three novels I am halfway through.

Add toys I am handed to “look after”,
three conkers, a chewed lolly,
(that finds a corner so I can forget about it)
and sweet chestnut cases, that spike me
until I remember not to open that pocket.

I hear the bag strain and creak,
the lining rips
I keep losing things behind it.
The zip is broken half way
and still I load it further.

I stand on the tram platform
clutching a bag with a snapped strap,
surprised stitching has unravelled
the leather has worn through.
It couldn’t take what I expected it to hold.





Sarah L Dixon tours as The Quiet Compere.  She has been published in Ink, Sweat and Tears and The Interpreter’s House among others. Sarah’s inspiration comes from being by water and adventures with her five-year old, Frank.  She is still attempting to write better poetry than Frank did aged 4!  More info at The Quiet Compere.

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