Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The air is thinner here

Yesterday I swam amongst people — women —
Who earn more than £500 an hour, whose word is law.

I felt their equal (they did not think me theirs, but no matter).
Once upon a time, I was not only their equal, I was more,
Better qualified, quite literally entitled:
When I changed my name, it was from Ms to Dr.
My law was words.

Today, I had to argue with the school receptionist
To go and fetch my son's inhaler when he needed it,
Because he could not breathe.
I had to promise to bring it back.
I had to apologise, because she had not had personal sight
Of the inhaler when it was brought into the school.
I had to apologise, because she was too busy, really, the school receptionist,
To attend to my needs.
And my son was upstairs and could not breathe.

I am the same person.
Am I the same person?

I did not know what I had until I lost it,
Because when I had it,
It was buried under an avalanche of work,
And I was alone, exhausted, goaded.

I thought it would be better to look for balance.

Now I am a fish in a net,
Crowded, exhausted, breathless.

4 comments:

pantomum said...

A great piece of writing!I love your last two lines, and sympathise with the fogginess of identity.

Kirkegaard said...

Thank you! Wasn't sure about posting it. Thank you for commenting. Not nice, is it?

pantomum said...

Sometimes posts are great precisely because they are both personal and thought provoking. Keep going!

Heron Sister said...

Beautifully written!