Books Magazine

Welcome Home, Elsie

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Welcome home, Elsie
Artist : Bex Fitton
Relationships have been rather strained chez Dyson of late. This is because we have recently moved home, in my case for the first time in 37 years. Moving house is long established as one of the most stressful life events in our society, along with divorce (which I wouldn’t discount at this stage!). Colliding, as it does in our case, full pelt with Christmas preparations, a cauldron of emotion, stress, agonising and dwindling funds is assured and the resulting fall-out means exhaustion, as well as more of the above. Ah well, there are compensations. At last we have a permanent home for our magnificent painting of Elsie Tanner, seen above. She of the smouldering eyes and the inevitable fag, Elsie was no slouch herself when it came to relationships, mostly unsuitable ones. I bought the painting months ago from the brilliant artist and Nana extraordinaire, Bex Fitton and have been longing to put it in pride of place in my dining room, where Elsie can cast a laconic eye over family meals, parties, all the human traffic that life involves. To finish, here’s Carol Ann Duffy’s take on an unusual relationship.
A CROW AND A SCARECROW A crow and a scarecrow fell in love
out in the fields.
The scarecrow’s heart was a stuffed leather glove
but his love was real.
The crow perched on the stick of a wrist
and opened her beak:
Scarecrow, I love you madly, deeply.
Crow, rasped the Scarecrow, hear these words
from my straw throat.
I love you too
from my boot to my hat
by way of my old tweed coat.
The crow crowed back,
Scarecrow, let me take you away
to live in a tall tree.
I’ll be a true crow wife to you
if you’ll marry me.
The Scarecrow considered.
Crow, tell me how
a groom with a broomstick spine
can take a bride.
I know you believe in the love
in these button eyes
but I’m straw inside
and straw can’t fly.
The crow pecked at his heart
with her beak
then flapped away,
and back and forth she flew to him
all day, all day,
until she pulled one last straw
from his tattered vest
and soared across the sun with it
to her new nest.
And there she slept, high in her tree,
winged, in a bed of love.
Night fell.
The slow moon rose
over a meadow,
a heap of clothes,
two boots,
an empty glove.
Thank you for reading. Sheilagh Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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