Everything In Its Place

My father drew, painted, pressed clay, carved stone 
into naked feminine shapes with big bums and tiny waists. 
He was practical, too: 
he grew much of our food. 
He pulled nails from reclaimed wood, 
saved metal scraps and screws, 
used them to build, to make tools. 

When I was eight, 
I helped him build a two-room caravan 
from waste: a base for his creations. 
Wood, chisel and clay lived at the front end, 
Hammers, drills and related accoutrements neatly arranged on shelves.
A home-made pottery wheel of his design, powered 
by peddling a recycled bicycle,
sat on the floor next to the workbench.
His photographic studio was at the back
complete with convenient divan and blankets. 

Everything had its place --   all Neatly In Reach. 
When one of his scented women came
-- her waist not that thin, her bum not that big, 
and her painted face never as pretty as in his imagery -- 
we knew 
The Artist Was At Work and we
must turn away. 
When they left, some made a quick getaway, while others 
played innocent, dripping into the kitchen for a quick visit. 
My mother was friendly, polite, never accused, 
never raged or complained:
after all, he had taught her the rules back in the early days.
No-one witnessed her pain, 
or noticed she was afraid of her creative betrayer.
She Knew Her Place
 ©Jane Paterson Basil 

 Written for Word Of The Day Challenge: Practical

15 thoughts on “Everything In Its Place

        1. Me too. If I revisit a post from years back, the chances are that I’ll find a ‘fault’ or ‘weakness’ and change it, only to decide afterwards that it’s NOT an improvement after all.


  1. wow I always kind of knew that from some comments you have made over the years I have known you but putting it in a poem makes it so real and must be a healing tool for you too…….xox


  2. A detail or two about the caravan was wrong. You built a new one for Neil and I to sleep in, and joined our old one onto another one, to make the extended workshop. As when you and Dad renovated the cottage, years later, you were a team that knew what you were doing. Difficult for me to get involved.
    The rest of it, well as I said to you earlier today, ironically, on a different subject: of course, I see it all now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dad had a talent for manipulating people. As a photographer, this gave him a huge advantage. With a few words he could rearrange his subjects facial expression and relax her body. He could get her to do pretty much what he wanted here to do – within reason, in my case. We worked well together because he used his talent in an appropriate way when we were building and renovating. I’ll always be grateful to him for that. Despite what followed I have never looked at another man and wished he was my father, He took a lot away from me, but he gave me a lot, too. However, I


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