Much to my delight and amazement, I was selected to attend a poetry masterclass at Ty Newydd, the National Writers Centre of Wales. When I applied, I never thought they would think I would be up to it. Now, looking at the participant list, I keep wondering whether they’ve mixed me up with some other Jan Norton…
Nevertheless, I must try and believe that they know what they are doing and be positive for once about my own ability. I often seem to approach such things with an ‘I can’t’ or ‘I’m not good enough’ attitude, so this time I’m determined to be more like my marvellous daughter and her can-do approach to life. I can go, and I can improve, and I must be good enough if they say I am. So fun times ahead.
In the light of that, here is something I have been working on – still in first draft stage. Hopefully I will come back energised and with a quiverful of poems, new born and gestating…
Aunt Megan’s Bag
That last Christmas, she sat by the range,
neat ankles beneath American tan.
The handbag squatted on the rug, close mouthed.
Its silk lining flirted through the wicker.
At last a narrow hand dipped in to present
a lollipop, fragranced with face powder.
I tucked it into my pocket to savour its sheen.
Its shards splintered on my tongue, secret-sweet.
Next spring, outside the cottage hospital
I stood on tiptoe at the window, gripped
the flaking sill, peered in. I glimpsed the bag
next to the empty bed before I fell,
grazing my knee. When Mam emerged, the bag
came with her. I did not ask, but watched it,
waited for the snap of the lock, rustle
of silk and the promised familiar scent.