Pigtails - Poem by Tony Jolley
She had pigtails.
Out of the ordinary pigtails,
A too long to be true,
Can't help but stare
Sort of pigtails.
You're picturing a young girl,
Fourteen or fifteen
Running across a prairie....
She was tugging them down
From under a black, tea-cosy-type hat:
All warm and waiting for winter,
Pulling them about like a pair of unruly puppies
Who wouldn't stay where they were put.
60 rather than 16,
Toting all her worldly goods about
In a big, black, bin-liner bag;
To those 'above the lifeline'
A lost soul falling off the frail frontier
Of self-respect and state subsidy,
Sliding slowly but surely into invisibility
To our supposed civilised society.
But she still cared for her hair:
Her own small glory.
Clearly, so very evidently:
Here was a lady.
[Just a brief glimpse of a woman on the Rebberg Hill - a rich area of Mulhouse, France - her situation contrasted dramatically with her surroundings, but in her 'previous life-before-the-fall' I have this feeling she knew the area well]
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