‘It’s time for war, Bush and Blair tell Taliban’
headline, guardian.co.uk, 7/10/2001
my mother phoned; she wants to know
my plans for Christmas.
I put the fruit to soak in sherry
ready for the cake and started
I bought material to make
sofa covers (crimson poppies
on a background of sand and stone).
I made an appointment for the dentist
for Friday week and transferred
some money to a higher-interest account.
I began to read
the P. D. James my sister left behind
last time she visited.
I ate an apple,
and kept the pips to plant
This poem was originally drafted in 2001, then left to one side until a couple of years ago, when I revised it. It was recently published in The Woman Writer magazine after winning the SWWJ scholarship competition, a mixed-genre competition which this year was judged by Vanessa Gebbie and had the theme “War”.