Going Home – Jean Taylor

Going Home


The first room is a room that has seen

too many fabrics. Layers slip from the surfaces.

Soon there will be only lathe and plaster

a structure of rubble behind the peel.

Once there was a suitcase of hope

a dressing table of promise

a chest of drawers stuffed full of dreams

now there are off-cuts of carpet,

rust oxidises on the door fittings,

the suitcase is gaping.


In the attic, the bible has lost its context,

the dreamcatcher is a gatherer of dust,

the bed is pillowed in dirt and discomfort.

The dust has become volcanic

with the crumble of cotton.

There may be a skeleton under the bed.


In her mother’s bedroom the Virgin

fondles her rosary in a gesture of disapproval

her mother’s bed leans against the paneling,

wall socket visible, now that the bed

has been stripped of its comforts.

A small Christ watches over nothingness.


She has placed her new white suitcase

in the middle of horror

in a room which is no longer a room

but a warzone. The birds

have splattered guano over all its faces

the pine chairs, the deal table

the pink plush bedspread.

Only the word remains

on Blue Basildon Bond writing paper

and a novel by Dickens – Great Expectations.



© Jean Taylor

January 2015

Bedroom South Uist photo credit Ian Paterson
Bedroom South Uist photo credit Ian Paterson