Dedicated to my Grandma, who passed away suddenly last year in Hull Royal Infirmary.
You’ve never felt the ground shifting beneath you. You’ve never hopped from one foot to the other, caught in a desperate dance with death. You’ve never been floored on all fours: your palms grazed, still smarting, from breaking the fall. You’ve always landed on your Own Two Feet. You’re a self-made first-grade top-o-the-range Man. * I, at least, know That when I am still It is because I am Held by giants – By the sore-backs gnarled-knees elbow-grease of Generations of Invisible Women: Their skin so warped it Weeps blood. * Show me! Show me your battle scars – your signs of struggle. Show me how you fought With an infant in each arm; your life on your back. How you swallowed your heart back down When it shot up your throat. Show me. Remember that time when ickle donny was SO brave, he started off in Brooklyn with just a small loan of a million dollars? Poor donny, all alone in that Big Wide World of his, pushing through that “NO!” of a life of his. It has not been easy for me. Say it louder! It has NOT been EASY for me! Say it again: The refrain of a lullaby. Say it again and again with your fingers in your ears and your eyes wide shut. Scream it till your voice goes hoarse and your throat runs dry. Tuck yourself in to the thick folds of your very own fairy story. Sssssssh, you’re safe now: it’s time to go to sleep.