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Myrtle Parker

Myrtle Parker

Myrtle Parker lived on the Riviera,
That’s the English one not the French.
Her favourite tipple is Red Currant Cider,
Only beverage her thirst would quench.

Never did she marry no husband,
Preference for life single and free,
Though kept two doggy companions,
Twin Westies, Florence and Zebedee.

Miss Parker was a gatherer and hoarder,
Antiques, curios, lots of impractical tat.
Her catchphrase was somewhat familiar,
“I‘ll find a good use for that.”

Tumbledown Cottage name on the gate,
Aptly called for badly required repair.
The man from Devonshire Council,
Shakes his head in anguished despair.

Oh, dear Myrtle what are we to do,
I cannot see the wood for the trees,
Environment Officer is calling today,
He doesn’t like cockroach and fleas.

Myrtle lives close to Muscle shell beach,
Small cove of shingle and coarse sand,
Opposite the Cat protection league,
Where she buys new clothes second hand.

One summer had a house full of Kittens,
That grew into fully grown cats.
They left her in search of new comforts,
Plagued by visits of large rodent rats.

Myrtle decided on a radical clear out,
To make way for a new feather bed,
But could not let go of her treasures,
So continued sleeping on the sofa instead.
Seventy years old, obstinate and proud,
Devon Council man returned to her door.
“This house is making you poorly my dear,
Regretfully you cannot live here anymore.

Oh, dear Myrtle here’s what we’ll do,
Move you into a comfy town flat,
Environment Officer is calling today,
Condemn your cottage, so sorry about that.

Myrtle Parker was born in this house,
Her father he worked on the boats,
Mother stayed home baking bread,
From freshly ground buckwheat groats.

Tumbledown cottage is full of memories,
Though can’t find many for the clutter.
Diminutive rooms two up two down,
Walls dampened by broken pipe gutter.

If I have to go then take me in a box,
She chained herself to the newel post.
I’ll defend my rights for all I’m worth,
Then haunt Council man as his ghost.

Council man arrives excited with keys,
For Miss Parkers new urban home,
But Myrtle had been true to her word,
and perished on the staircase all alone.

Oh, dear Myrtle what have you done,
Your new flat was shiny and clean,
Environment Officer is calling today,
Demolition boss with bulldozer team.

Copyright © Kevin Shaw | Year Posted 2022


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Date: 6/16/2022 1:00:00 PM

Sometimes it is really hard to let go of things that feel familiar, and it seems she was content in her own chaos. Sometimes all the push in the world cannot make them go. Nicely told story dear poet. I enjoyed it from start to finish
Date: 3/29/2022 10:51:00 PM

Ah, poor Miss Myrtle Parker, who really had been neglected over the years, I could see no other way, because the new flat would have just killed her anyway, a very sad and poignant tale, Kevin . . . : (
Date: 2/22/2022 6:53:00 PM

I really enjoyed reading your poem and getting acquainted with "dear Myrtle." Not many poems this long can command my attention, Kevin, but you surely did. Thanks! Good writing!