A misheard Macbeth Act V: “What a sigh is there!”
What a Size!
She stood uncertain centre-stage
A tremulous tethered kid
In a jungle clearing tiger shoot
Shielding her eyes
Against the spotlight glare
Apologising for her timidity
“I’ve never spoken in public before”
Softly expressing women’s rage
At fear of rape and violence
Her quiet seething anger
Enhanced by gentle diffidence
She should have been issuing
Books of botany and butterflies
In a still water library in Bexhill-on-Sea
Not standing with hands on hips
With growing confidence and trenchant irony
Warming to her theme
Telling the indignities
Women encounter in cess-pit society
Not standing with hands on confident hips
In a modest red dress
And matching specs from Vision Express
Taking deep breaths.
A nudge in my ribs – my mate’s hiss,
“Great tits. Would you give her one?”
“My granddaughter’s older than her.”
“Yeah but look at ’em… Would you?”
I stripped her naked in my mind and grinned
“Go on. Yeah. Bloody hell yes. Not half.”
O Mary, full of grace, is it too late?
I cannot look long in the mirror these days.
Second attempt at commenting as the first died due to an admin glitch so apologies if the content has differed.
I like the pacing and the guilty flavouring of the poem- a member of the ‘cesspit society,’ a jack-the-lad who should (and does) know better.
The writing flows well with very little excessive verbiage and some fine alliteration-
‘Books of botany and butterflies.’
The patronising and sexist comments of the narrator are handled successfully and the last two lines are killers.
Not so sure about the first line though.
Thanks for the read.
Cheers – for me the first line is “She stood uncertain…” if the dodgy first line you mean is ‘What a size’ – I agree with you – that’s an allusion to a line in the play that, in Polanski’s ‘Macbeth’, always elicits a chuckle – Lady M. is sleepwalking bare breasted in that scene and when the doctor goes, “What a size” an inevitable nudge nudge cackle ensues. Thus I stuck it in to give a kind of hint of the double standard later 🙂 The line should have gone on the title line but despite there being a… Read more »