Site Patron: Andrew Motion
Anne Stewart (Birthday)
Katherine Gallagher (Anytime)
Brings to mind the hare, eyes goat-like;
the dog, ears pointing stiff; brings up
the lapis stone, easily describable –
not like Blue John, whose purpled veins
is the blood of those of us who live here.
Lappen, a rag, a cloth, a scrap, a sop
for history and words, a wipe
for dust and soap – it’s not a flannel
though it’s disguised to be. An old
cotton underskirt ripped into squares,
a pair of knickers in a bath. We called it
flannel but Lappen is truer; if we’d have known
we’d have used it.
Keep your flannel,
your perfect carded square, give me
the hare to run against, dog to be cared by,
give me the stone against my throat.
Give me the rag. By now, I have its shape.