On Chafe: “Ode to Sudacrem”

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I was inspired after my run today by the memory of John Keats’ Ode to Autumn, a poem that we did to death at school. Those in Mrs Oldfield’s English class, I give you: Ode to Sudacrem – a poem about chafe. Pure classic literature, right there.


SEASON of heat and cloying humidity,
Close bosom-friend of the burning sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and stress
With chafe, my poor thighs, that round the Storey Bridge ran;
To bend with stealth between passing runners-by,          5
And pull at spare fabric, without ripping, o’er the sore;
To quell the skin, of plump gapless thighs.
But sweat-kernel drips just set throbbing more,
And still more; later welts almost to the knees,
Until you curse warm days to forever cease;   10
For Summer has o’erload’d my clammy legs.

It’s still a pretty city, even on rainy days


Who hath not seen me oft amid the store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Me sifting furtively around the baby goods floor,
The nappy cream soft-lifted by the wincing hand;   15
Or on a shower room bench, skirt akimbo,
Dowsing with the fume of nappies, (not yet soiled)
Cream that soothes skin and all its weltèd flesh:
And sometimes like a hooker one dost keep
Steady my laden legs across a stool;   20
Or by an unlocked cubicle, with patient look,
I watchest the door, lest someone comes in.


Used to be a bikeway before the rain
Where are the songs of Winter? Ay, where are they?
Think oft of them, or at least John Snow,—
While laden clouds, grey with soft-drizzly rain,   25
Touch my stubbly legs with their lazy dew;
Then in a wailful choir the small welts groan
As moisture catches them unannounced. Swearing aloud!
Or thinking as the slight pain swells and grows
Would full-length tights have been a good idea today?   30
Ah Sudacrem, you art a summer-time treasure?
Stashed safely in my locker for next run day
And from now on in, no more damned mince pies

Lest the thigh gap diminishes yet further.

Now it’s time to go and make like Oscar, because #HealthyLifestyleChallenge2017!!

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