Sunday, 11 September 2016

Identity




                                                                                   Women spinning wool


Dear Reader,

This week I read that Prince Charles did a strange experiment to establish the comparative qualities of wool and synthetic fibre.  Six months ago he buried two jumpers of each material in a flower bed at Clarence House, thinking and hoping that the woollen jumper he buried there would be recyclable and biodegradable when he dug them up six months later.  In fact the woollen jersey had biodegraded itself to nothing, whilst the synthetic jersey was still completely intact, and I think he must have been pleased at this outcome, which was the result he wanted.  In 1571 his ancestor Queen Elizabeth I passed a law demanding that most of her subjects wear woollen hats on a Sunday to support the English wool trade.  In medieval England wool had become big business.  There was enormous demand for it, mainly to produce cloth, and everyone who had land, from peasants to major landowners, raised sheep.  I myself wear woollen and cotton clothes as much as possible, since synthetic materials don't suit me.  They make me either too hot or too cold - either way rather uncomfortable.

                                                                                *

 Identity

"Why hello", she said, "how are you,
what have you been doing,
how are your family, is your sister
still writing, I love her books,
and George, I expect he is as
busy as ever, and the twins, heavens
how are they, and your grandmother, does
she still live in Acapulco, breeding
donkeys, and your dog, is it alive and well?
Ah good, good, good.
Gosh look at the time -
I really must fly, but so
lovely to hear all about you,
and your life."

The woman scratched her fingernails
down her cheek,
a spot of blood
splattered in her hand,
she pinched her arm, sensed the pain,
she stamped the ground,
felt paving stones beneath her feet,
and drawing near she saw a 23 bus.
These things were proof of her
existence, weren't they?
So she was alive, was there,
just invisible.

                                                                              *

Very best wishes, Patricia


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this poem about identity. I've certainly felt like that before now. Clever and poignant as always. Xx