I am pretty sure the unofficial theme of International Women’s Day 2016 is don’t give up. After all, we have got so far. Pity we have so much further to go.
As this is a writing blog, I’m sharing a poem that I wrote about my grandma Connie, who died a long time ago of breast cancer. So much has changed since then. (Check your breasts.)
So here’s the poem of the few that I sent to Faber and Faber in 1998 that was said to have ‘the best atmosphere’.
The large print novels with the lilac titles. She’d
Read without the light on. Her back was hunched from
Making tea in gasworks that now hang
Skeletal on the landscape. In the war she was beautiful
And wooed a Scottish footballer to the factory.
Then, years later, still up before the cock crowed, I’d ask
Why she wasn’t resting. ‘Layards to catch meddlers,’
her reply. She’d give me a sweet, and I’d suck it hard
To try to understand. And before she went out for a lager and
Lime or a game of bingo she performed the lipsil lipstick ritual.
At seventy-five she was still in its thrall.
(c) Rebecca Deans 2016