A poem for International Women's Day...
For my love they are more than souvenirs,
the presents she buys while on holiday
for friends, relatives, neighbours’ children.
Her art is in choosing keepsakes matched
to the individual. Nothing too heavy
in any sense, this artwork won’t change lives
or be reviewed in magazines.
And not all of it will be received
as she hopes: thrown in a cupboard or taken
to car boot sales.
Hit-or-miss then, although she works at it
like a seamstress, a tennis player, a pianist,
always practising, always perfecting –
as the two of us do, keeping fingers crossed
that our life together will never be unimprovably
right. Thus we rehearse
for whatever we may achieve
becoming more fluent
in strokes we’d once have considered
impossibly hard. Our daily practice
is to find ways to please
with instinctive restraints
and I-thought-you-might-like-this parcels