This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us. She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…
As we grew older, life became
More complicated – so did people.
There was this village boy…..It was
His mother who first fascinated me.
She wore the kind of skirts that might
Today be designated ‘ethnic’,
And her hair, loose and abundant,
Was the colour of ripe hazelnuts.
There was freedom in her movement;
Straight-backed, long-strided, with her head
Held high and proud. She kept aloof from
Other village women. One evening
I took him home to eat with us;
And then I waited, always hoping
To be invited back. Alas,
No invitation came. Next time
I saw him in the village, he was
Shame-faced but unrepentant. He would
Not ask me to his home, he said,
Compared with which mine was a palace.
Entreaties would not move him and I was
Too proud to tell him that my dearest wish
Had been to meet, not some neat housewife,
But a woman, proud and tall, who walked
With regal carriage and had about her
An air of freedom and wild things.
© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards