“Hey, Beautiful!”

I know she’d rather have it on time;
but this one’s running late.

The hallway shuffles at six-past-eight,
and before my eyes peel open
the gate
although trying as hard as it can
to keep her inside, is unlatched
and she is off
hauling shin splints, aching calves,
and that ever shrinking waistline
beneath an ever changing skyline
to the city.

She strides each day,
pacing disappointment,
and frustration away
in steady motion,
caught between 
the constant pull of devotion
to her friends and family,
(feline and human)
and the girl who just wants
to sit out in the rain,
when it’s forty-fucking-degrees again,
to smile at heaving clouds.

She laughs in rounds,
cackles shoot quick fire like bullets
from a trigger happy gun,
at the sheer delight and simple fun
that it is to look at life,
through the eyes of a joy
that’s carved from tears
like a river who’s run deep through years
of tough choices
and unmapped land.

In trials, and heartache,
she bends but never breaks
though retreats at times
to the kitchen to bake recipes
with triple barrelled names;
because you can’t change the world 
with lemon slice,
but it certainly doesn’t make things worse.

A fighter through and through
for justice, and upholding truth
opinionated, unmitigated,
and bemused as the “men,” flabbergast
into boys, put in place by her sass,
and her voice,
the same that calls up the hall
at eight-past-six to say
“Hey Beautiful!”
and before I’ve peeled open
my mouth to say hello,
there she’s sat,
besotted by her favourite cat.

for Fiona and Bennie.