Given Away

Jeanne Macdonald

In 2005, I am telling my grandchildren
that my father was born in 1892,
and they are silent.

I tell them that he ran away from home
when he was twelve, wanting to go
to sea, they are silent.

I tell them how he served in two World Wars.
The First, in the army, France; The Second,
in the Merchant Navy, they are silent.

I tell them how he died when I was fifteen,
in the same hospital where my older sister
was giving birth, they are silent.

I tell them when I married their grandfather
in 1960, my eldest brother gave me away.
My only Granddaughter speaks,

Was that because without a father
you were considered worthless?

Jeanne Macdonald

Jeanne Macdonald

Jeanne Macdonald is an experienced poet who has studied writing poetry at Newcastle University for several years, and currently attends Writing from the Inside Out (tutor Gillian Allnutt). She completed her MA in Writing Poetry at the same University in 2003. Jeanne has read her work on Radio 4, Word on the Street, and her work has been read on Radio 3, The Verb.

She has also started a career as a publisher: the Blinking Eye poetry competition for the over-fifties is now in its second year; the first year's winners were announced at the end of September, and Blinking Eye has published its first two volumes from their work.


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Given Away © 2005 Jeanne Macdonald: used with permission.
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