sit still scarcely breathe
slow blink camera's eye
best dress black dress
(oh remember sprigged muslin
pastel silks and ribbons)
stiff pleats high neck
close sleeves neat cuffs
skirt rustles skirt swishes
(old lady it whispers)
hair smooth pulled back
central parting white line
tight knot sharp pins
(oh ringlets brushing skin
loose curls bouncing)
sit still no smile
face stiff eyes stern
hands rest heart thuds
Cynthia Fuller was born in Kent in 1948, but has lived in the North East since the 1970s, working freelance as a teacher of literature and creative writing in Adult and Higher Education, and with groups in the community. She has two grown-up sons.
She has co-edited several poetry anthologies, including Smelter (Mudfog, 2003) with Kevin Cadwallender; The Poetry Cure (Bloodaxe, 2005) with Julia Darling and North By North East (Iron Press, 2006) with Andy Croft.
Her collections, Moving Towards Light (1992), Instructions for the Desert (1996) and Only a Small Boat (2001) were published by Flambard, and her new collection Jack's Letters Home 1917-18 is due out from Flambard later this year.
Her poetry has appeared in such anthologies as Bloodaxe New Women Poets and Being Alive.
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Grandmother's Portrait 1890 © 2006 Cynthia Fuller: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.
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This page last updated 22nd March 2006