Cruel Tube

A poem from Colin McGregor from the anthology It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn – available from the publishers Editions

Cruel Tube

Oh toothpaste, why won’t you go back?

I hope and hope and hope and hope

And hope again I’ll squeeze you in

And replay all my darker turns

The tube is cruel, the tube is harsh

That vomits out its gummy soap

And never lets it home again

All my mistakes from whence they came

My boasts, my crimes, the time I won

And never took the open door

When I was nice, but nicer still

I could have been; and then that time

A life foregone; there was no point

There never is with dentifrice

You brush, you rinse, it vanishes

Washed down the drain, like so much paste

No plumber’s tool can get it back

No quantum trick can wake the cat

One day they’ll build a time machine

Or better yet, a neat device

That pumps the paste back in the tube

Exactly as it sat that year

The year we danced and laughed and sang

The joys and hopes, the dreams we shared

I dance no more; my back goes out

And modern music seems just noise

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