Poetry by Jeff Green


Alone (inspired by Eleanor Rigby)

by cricketjeff on January 4, 2009.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

Every evening she sits waiting for a phone that never rings,
      Every day she waits for post that’s never mailed.
Does her shopping on a Tuesday, food for one and little things
      But she never stops to wonder where she failed.

Though she gets a card at Christmas, birthdays pass without a sign.
      The messages she leaves are not returned.
She has asked her next-door neighbours if they’d like to come to dine
      But each offer has been quite politely spurned.

When the milkman leaves a bottle she is ready at the door
      But he only ever greets her with a nod.
She was sure when she was younger life would bring her something more,
      Now the only man she speaks to is her god.

It’s ten years since he left her, he just died there in the chair;
      Both her children came to see his ashes spread.
In the years since then they travelled now they’re living who knows where,
      They’ll be back to sell the cottage when she’s dead.

Just like other lonely people who’ve been cast aside by life
      She’s sat waiting for the end to end the pain.
She was always there as daughter, then as mother and a wife
      Now she knows that they won’t want her help again.

Who’ll be there to mourn her passing when she slowly fades away?
      Who will know that she’s not with us any more?
Will the priest who reads the lesson even know what he should say?
      She was just another face we all ignore.

Author notes

Inspired by The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby, which although a song deserves recognition purely on its poetry “wearing the face which she keeps in a jar by the door” is surely one of the greatest poetic lines of the latter half of the twentieth century.