|A hearty woman for her years!|
Image from the British Library's new copyright free
I had to turn my back and laugh. Then I had to go outside and laugh. I am 60 and a size 12-14. No spring chicken, not skinny, but that phrase somehow seemed to amplify both.
I've been thinking about body image more than I would, as someone else I know has been repeatedly asking if I've lost weight and, also with kind intentions, pointed out that "now" I have a waist. It seems churlish to take these comments any other way, but it had me thinking, what the hell did she think of me before? Did I really have no waist? I thought a waist belonged to corsets and the 1950s. Wrong.
Before all this I woke up excited by the idea of building on an old poem I had printed up as a postcard (which allegedly found its way to the Woman's Hour noticeboard).
It's only a list of synonyms but perhaps its form makes what women are called a kind of game, lightens the intention. I could have done with a sniff at its humour later because although I was laughing, I was also hurt.
I looked at another I tried out at the same time - synonyms for prostitute. I thought I could make them into a sequence, although it is misleading to call either of them a poem. They are blocks of text. I don't know yet, I want to see what they could become. Maybe a collection of aprons or cat bowls.