Napowrimo day thirteen

Today’s piece is entirely lifted from a conversation I had with a lovely lady at the bus stop on my way to the coach station (today I am typing from the heady heights of a 1930s flat in Bethnal Green on way tomorrow to do this event -plug plug pluggety plug: so here goes first draft written on the coach.


Thank heaven for bolshy old ladies


I am as usual overladen with bags

the same laptop backpack stuffed with last minute items

and self conscious books for my trip to France:

Les Belle Images by Simone De Beauvoir with it’s

soft core gratuitous peroxide nude cover

and Jeanette Winterson’s Napoleonic The Passion

all tortoiseing me as I carry the bag with the pots:

one now wilting daffodils and the tiny sprig of

what I hope is the mint I planted for a friend

to care for her and for her cats not to eat

the old woman on the seat shuffles her companion along

”it’s not only old people get tired of standing you know”

she pats the seat, I sit and she pulls my unwashed plait

”extensions? or all your own?” she knows about extensions

knows most youths think they invented such fakery

I think of Mother’s tales of sixties dancefloors rats  of

hair flying out and scaring, pan stick cracking

and reply ”all my own yes”

she touches her thin white crop and says

”I think people think we were born this way

you should of seen me in my wedding photo

lots of hair, not bad looking, I feel like I should

carry them round as evidence”

know my Mother is heading closer to

that blurring obscurity, know that

in her head she’s twenty in that black full length

leotard arms and eyes aloft dancing barefoot

in her college’s garden

”eighty four I am next week”

”are you going to have a big party”

had a big one at eighty don’t really want to be eighty four”

”but you’ll have a cake surely? you are never too old for cake”

She nudges me and says ”Don’t I know it”


The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

Posted in Anna Percy, NaPoWriMo, NAPOWRIMO Anna, Poetry Scrawls, Ramblings
2 comments on “Napowrimo day thirteen
  1. Andy N says:

    really enjoyed the twist on the last here, Anna.. made me smile – good stuff x

    Andy N

  2. Love the way your books are ‘tortoiseing’ you. Very enjoyable poem.

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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