Jayne Osborn


Putting My Affairs In Order

A friend has told me I should do this, just in case I die.
I’ve thought about it quite a lot, but still can’t reason why
there is a need. She seemed insistent, so I’ll have a try.

* * *

I’ve cast my mind back years: my first affair was with Joe Green.
He liked to make love in the open but I wasn’t keen.
Alfresco sex is not for me; what happens if you’re seen?

The next one was a chap called Stan; now Stan was four foot ten.
Although he was quite nice I really do like taller men,
and after several dates I thought, “I won’t see him again.”

I think that number three was . . . wait a minute . . . it was Bob.
He knew which buttons he should press, but wouldn’t get a job,
and so he had to go. The man was just a total slob.

Hang on, I may have got it wrong, and Bob was number four.
Or was it Charlie, Bruce or Steve? I really can’t be sure.
This “putting them in order” business really is a chore.

My next affair—where am I, up to seven? Oh yes, Jim,
a famous politician, so that name’s a pseudonym.
He told me lies (yes, really!) so I very soon dumped him.

Before—or was it after?—that came Billy, on a cruise.
I don’t remember much except we sank . . . a lot of booze.
He’d moan and sweat excessively when . . . taking off his shoes!

Let’s see, I hope I’ve got it right: Joe, Stan, Bob, Charlie, Bruce,
then Steve and Jim and Billy; quite a few, but my excuse
is that I’m rather gullible, and easy to seduce.

Although I’ve done the sequence, my dramatis personae,
I still don’t see the need to write this down before I die.
When one’s “affairs are all in order,” who d’you notify?

Jayne Osborn is a UK poet and retired teacher. She writes (mostly) light verse which has appeared in many magazines, anthologies, and online journals. She regularly reads her poems to a variety of audiences.