The First Rehearsal



April and me
reckon we’re every chef’s
recommended dish of the century.
Arms linked, skirts swishing,
breasts jiggling, legs on display,
heavy on the body spray but light on our feet,
we’re dancing to an inner beat,
heading for the first rehearsal.
No-one would guess
we dread
the opening show.

Promenading through the park,
snooting hooting cars,
big blues slanting, spying our pray
like we don’t see them looking our way,
daring brave souls to prick holes in
the arty bubble that circles our skin.

Sloshing Cider,
smoking stolen ciggies like pros,
noses pressed against a future we think has arrived,
music in our ears, eyes wide closed.
We’re subtle as a scream,
cool as pyromania,
a fool’s wet dream of creamy thighs and wild abandon.
Virgin blueprints of sin;
aces who play Queens of seduction,
we throw jokers over our shoulders
if fingers reach to hook our knickers, since
is our first rehearsal.

Flaunting our elastic youth
we queue to pay for chewing gum,
taunting tutting prunes
whose fumbling hands and tumbling brains
have trouble with the change.
They fix us with their rumpled glint,
then stutter home to water plastic flowers
and launder frowzy frills and worn-out frocks
and plump limp pillows on their beige divans.
Those fossilised flints were never fresh like us,
born too old to understand,
long before the script was even written.

April and me are both fifteen,
luscious, delicious, any chef would recommend us.
We’re poised to rule the Universe,
There’s no more you can teach us;
bring on
the dress rehearsal.


©Jane Paterson Basil

17 thoughts on “The First Rehearsal

      1. It was a few weeks ago. The restraining order sent me into a tail-spin. It’s a horrible thing to have to do to your child. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been so quiet lately. It’s agonising. I haven’t been able to talk about it, or to think about much else. I’ve survived by obsessing over the gargantuan problems in our Oxfam shop, and I’m finally getting my emotions back on track.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Distractions are good therapy, helps to put distance and time to deal with things later, hopefully in a better frame of mind. You’ve been through some very tough times. Over a very long period. Be gentle on yourself xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “Queue to to pay…”, Jane? Really, Jane? A typo? A ghastly typo in a poem of such noble and esteemed quality? Ghastly, Jane. Perfectly ghastly, but strangely you. Puts me strongly in mind of your major character flaw. You don’t see my sensible, commonsense side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for pointing that that out out. I should have checked my comments before going to the post to do a quick edit. I came up with a new phrase which I think is worthy of Leonard Cohen, and I couldn’t resist slotting into the poem, then I changed a couple of other things, but I didn’t notice the tutu stuck in the middle of the pay queue. I’d ask you to go back to the post and have another read, but I expect you’re rushed off your feet, stomping on incredibly talented bloggers, so here’s the phrase I’m so proud of:

      Virgin blueprints of sin

      Already, I’m beginning to regret wasting it on a silly verse about tutus.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s an apt verse in this context. Completely spot on. Incredibly descriptive. I feel all “You’ve got to keep it, you’ve just got to” about the verse. You can always use the verse in another poem. Some very respectable poets have done such things.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Putting aside the fact this is an absolutely seductive set of spot on metaphors, a set so magnificent I would surrender my soul to you if I had not long ago sold it to that circus clown for one a night stand with his talking donkey, putting all that aside, this sarcastic put down of 15 year old teen girl sexuality is both fascinatingly informative and ironically endearing.

    It makes me want to take those kids aside and say, “Enjoy it to the hilt! You’re on the right track so long as you don’t bring home any strange babies, diseases, or psychopaths. Go for it! You don’t know it, but you’re spreading your wings, you’re about to soar, rather than crawl, into an adult sexuality.”

    Beyond that, this is such a well turned, well lathed poem.

    Except for the ghastly typo. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk, that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those two girls both had some shit going on in their lives. One of them enjoyed her forays into sex. The other one didn’t. And they both took psychopaths home.

      I’ve tried several times to to capture the exact flavour of the adolescent flaunting, but I never quite manage it. You’re right; this one comes across as a put down, which makes it all wrong. I used to work in the perfect place to to observe the tribal dances of teenagers. I found it endearing. Poised between childhood and maturity, they thought themselves worldly-wise pioneers of a new order. They made themselves look ridiculous in order to to be noticed by the opposite sex, while all the time thinking they were being subtle. I really didn’t intend to demean them Maybe I need to to scoop up all the poems, and see if, together, they contain all the ingredients.

      About the two tos; I’ve edited out one to and left one to. When one’s friend considers two tos too much, and wants one to delete one to, what else can one do?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Just curious, but which “to” did you take out? I’ve been studying your edit for an hour now, and I still can’t figure out if it was the one on the left or the one on the right that you got rid of.

        I know what you mean, though. A whole lot of times I’m talking about someone or some group, etc only to realize that I have to re-write it because it has slipped into being more put down than descriptive. It is so easy to do that. Maybe because it’s the easiest way for the words to come out?

        Anyway, I really like your refusal to stop here and leave it at a put down. Whether you re-write this poem or write a new one, I don’t think you’ll be happy until you capture exactly how you really think and feel about youths and their sexuality.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I hate it when I see a couple of small kids enjoying noisy play and someone walks past and says “Bloody kids. Why doesn’t someone shut them up?” We were all kids once, and then we were all youths. I love to watch the joy and chaos of humans growing up. I hope that one day I’ll nail it in the way that John Keats nailed Autumn, – thereby ruining it for any other poet who wanted to capture that season.


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