I'm thinking of Andrea McLean — I cried when she left Loose Women, how openly she spoke of loneliness
in a marriage. My thoughts turn to our beach wedding: you and me, and
an expenses spreadsheet.
We wore Hawaiian leis. Auntie Anne watched the DVD, said it was like 'An Officer and a Gentleman'.
I remember you covered my mouth when I came.
I'm in a poetry workshop with Jack Underwood: patterns in language —the tyranny of the habitual, how
dull it can be, our tendency to talk of a line of trees. I think of the quote from Gibran about the cypress and
the oak, failing to grow in each other's shadow; and of the scold's bridle to tame women. Since I told
you I don't love you anymore, you've taken up gardening. My birth flower is a pink rose —
I'm on the phone to Dad before Corrie. He says the affair between Alina and Tyrone is ridiculous —
when she says let me show you how much I love you. As if it's that
I say, 'I'll let you get back to your Corrie'. And wonder why you encouraged me to debate at Oxford
but not to speak up about day-to-day stuff. I recall you say: he's from a different culture, had a difficult
childhood. You remind me of what Granny Corrin used to say: don't shit in your own nest.
And I think of the witch's bridle — a cage for the head — to silence women.
But then there's you, G. — our WhatsApp routine — the joking about my Couch to 5K, on the
bridleway. You're imagining runaway brides in wedding gowns and I'm telling you how freely the
horses stomp about. Unrestrained, uncontainable. And I think of TV's Miranda, how she says women
should make galloping a thing, should gallop through shopping malls. I picture her.
Galloping along for all she's worth. Mouth hanging open —