Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The Small Lady

My poetry group meets twice a month now. Once we read our own poetry and once a month we discuss other people's poems. Last night I read them Stevie Smith's poem The Small Lady, which I think is very funny and dark. Nobody else in the group had heard it before.

Thought you might like to read it.

The Small Lady

In front of the mighty washing machine
The small lady stood in a beautiful dream,
'That these clothes so clean (oh what a relief)
Must still be ironed, is my only grief.'

But then came a great witch passing on the air
Who said, 'What is it you still wish for, my pretty dear?
Would you like to be a duck on a northern lake,
A milky white duck with a yellow beak?'
'Aroint thee, false witch!' cried the lady with a brave face,
'Human inventions help properly, magic is a disgrace.'
The witch flew off cackling for the harm was done,
'I smell water,' cried the lady and followed her into the setting sun.
And now in a false shape, on the wind-driven black pelt
Of that far northern lake, she is without help;
Crying, Away, away,
Come, ray of the setting sun,
Over the lake
Spread thy red streak,
Light my kingdom.

Heart of my heart, it is a mournful song,
Never will this poor lady come home.
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