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POEM: An Ode to Omolara

An Ode to Omolara


Light filters through the gap

Between 30’s single-glazing and

Those misfit, yet widely-sold 90s IKEA drapes.

Its 4:30am but I’m not mad.

Winter has passed and I awake next to you.

A blessing,

In its own right.

The first trickles of sunlight


The strands of red, the quarter Irish

In your ink-black hair, the freckles illuminating,

Sexier somehow, without the make-up,

Chinks in the armour like the crack

In the imperfect curtains, let your true soul escape,

As you open your beautiful eyes, lids a fluttering.

A butterfly escaping the microcosm of its dream-like chrysalis,

Smooth skin breathing new life in the dew

Warm brown velour, all enveloping, soft,

Like the breeze squeezing through the broken pane.

Like a tortoise awakening from hibernation,

Heart-rate increasing, smile re-affirmed,

She hits the snooze button,

Happiness confirmed.

Quite why the alarm went off so early,

I’m not quite sure and despite myself I admit

I love you,

And that you need blinds.

Omolara reaches for the stars, stretching her feline body,

Rib cage lifting, diaphragm depressed, exhaling slowly with a groan.

I use the manoeuvre to rest my head in the crook of her neck,

Warm, safe, secure, ensconced in her smell,

A response not needed or craved.

At half-seven my own alarm chimes and late, for yet another commute,

I quickly dress in yesterday’s clothes.

A hung-over fashion victim in the half-light,

Once more, half-heartedly, declaring my intention

To quit drinking.

Tom Dearden, 2013

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