THURSDAY: Marginalia


Copyright is held by the author.

Mouse-like she lived
on the edges, on the fringes,
one of the overlooked
ignored, un-remarked and

Last to arrive, first to leave
“a bus to catch,” she’d murmur,
but no one offered her a lift
or turned to watch her go.

No partner to share life,
she floated, in grey offices
sitting in cafés stretching out
a china cup of tea,
always reading a book
borrowed from the local library.

She scribbled in notebooks
at the bus stop, on the park bench
eating her cellophane-wrapped sandwiches
cut into neat triangles
smeared with Dairylea and Marmite,
brown and cream —
her favourite colours.

She watched others’ dramas
erupt, implode, explode
around her;
the star turn who so often
crashed and burned —
it was not for her

An early memory —
her father bending down
at the duck pond,
patting her mousey hair,
“Best to keep quiet Susan.
Little girls are seen not heard.”
The ground rules laid early.