DAY SEVENTY-FIVE – Tiffany Atkinson

In this class

let’s be clear (1) how I swung from the frayed
end of a Tory line through boarding schools
and into university at seventeen

that (2) my tutor took one look and passed me
de Beauvoir   Fanon   Tsvetaeva   (3) ensuring
I would never be an army wife though being of the thieving

bourgeoisie I have her copies still (4)
in my own university room so temperate and light
and not unlike in many ways an Officers’ Mess lunch

(5) but for being filled in riptides with your kids
who may or may not know freedom from disaster
or be up all night on highs or the thick unreadable

dread I rode at their age   having just cast votes (6)
over Homer v. the bar we’re at the bar discussing
voice how voice is always elsewhere something

one must find and lay alongside like a bearskin i.e.
rarely native or a sweet fit or indeed the animal
one thought one was but (7) try it on   I say in one

way or another daily it’s a trouble and a right
and (8) they do    they will just keep on speaking up
your kids who by the way are ok are magnificent


Tiffany Atkinson lives in Norwich and teaches poetry at the University of East Anglia. Her latest collection, So Many Moving Parts was published by Bloodaxe in 2014; her current work tries to explore medicine and healthcare from as many different angles as possible.


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