This post is a token of gratitude to Jeanette Winterson. My poem covers some of the events from my past that made me change my story.
Prompt 6: “Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.“
I was the fence which needed to be replacedHopeful You know how this ends. You leave and he builds another fence and another pond and another stony path made of stones that he stole from the creek. In the pond are remains of the broken vase which the wind knocked down after he’d placed it on the outside table, and you said so since you had a vision of it falling, and you said so. But you weren’t heard. Not then nor when you planned out the day that ended with a tango singer from Argentina whose concert – you knew – would finish with a quick tango lesson. One hour of free dancing, the kind you’d never even tried. You wore the shoes for it all day. You walked in them all over town with him, from one saucy gallery to the next. The strap formed a deep crease in the flesh of your foot. Once the singer was done and the free lesson announced, you threw one hopeful glance in his direction. It was enough. You turned and walked away. Soon forever. He changed the fence and you changed the country, language, dog, and everything else. You tell this story to the new hopeful. He moves his head from side to side and says: “Not in a million years.”
Since I included her name in the poetry deck, which we were to make on Day Three, the choice of the book was not hard. Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson is my favourite book, and once I’m won over it’s not easy to lose me.
So this is where the line in the original title of my poem comes from. You can read three passages from the book in my old post here. I add three of my photographs too.
I once wrote her an open letter entitled Grazie for changing my story and posted it on my first blog. I tried to get it to her in various ways but haven’t heard from her (as if she had nothing better to do). It’s been a bit pandemic around here, but I’m still grateful.
Here are some photos to illustrate my fandom.
Merm + Alien “Fancy meeting you again, Merm.” “How do you mean again, when did we meet first?” “Five hundred years from now. They call it Woodstock. We breed. Our children prevail. When time comes, our youngest is a star. They, who know nothing, call him Alien.” “I hope he has my tail. I can’t help but notice that it tops yours in elegance and style.” “For now, Merm, for now. I have an idea. Look at your tail. See, how it splits at the end? We pull and this is how you t .e ..a …r to bear new life. Just make sure he has my face. It’s the last thing they see.”