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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

One less blackbird in the world

It’s difficult when someone dies and they actually meant something.

I find it hard to grieve, but I feel plenty of anger that I don’t really know where to direct. I didn’t feel sad, nor did I cry. I honestly think she would have thought me soft if I did. I remember the countless times she didn’t believe me when I told her I had done something brave, because she thought I was too much of a mouse. I’m brave now.

SA Partridge and Kirsty Cordell She was a writer, and a brilliant one. She was an artist, and I’m privileged to own one of her paintings. She was a poet, and her poems fill me with emotion that lasts for days. She was a journalist who wrote for O Magazine, Fair lady, and countless others. She was a mother. Something I don’t think I have the courage to ever be.

She was an amazing woman.

She was Cacey-Jay.

Quite a To Do

On monday the butcherboy came
a usual round by all accounts
I held my hands out to him
and he took them
firmly, purposefully
with his cleaver

then
left me
left without so much as a howdy doody.

I watched him go
along with my hands
-hands in hand-
impassionate.

On tuesday I silently mourned my loss

On wednesday I craved a smoke

On thursday a steaming mug of coffee

Friday the phone rang and rang
and rang and
rang…

On saturday the butcherboy yelled
(through the letterbox.)
He sold my hands on saturday
They’d sat all week in the lap of his girl
and no-one wanted them
they were not preserved
and became grey.

Noxious fumes surrounded my hands
and so
no one
wanted them – but me.
I bought them for tuppence each
a pittance really
considering their worth.

The butcherboy broke down the door with his cleaver and
found me in bed
weak from loss
in a pool of drying sticky blood.
He laid my hands on the nylon coverlet
(bought cheap at Tesco’s)
where they would have been
attached.

On sunday they clenched
relaxed
and died.

The phone rang again again again
rang again rang
again rang rang
rang again again again.

On monday the butcherboy came
a normal round by all accounts.

I nodded my head in greeting
and he took it
courteously
with his axe.
Copyright Cacey 1997

Please don’t offer me any condolences. This blog is a tribute to an extraordinary woman and friend.

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    May 13th, 2009 @02:19 #
     
    Top

    Thanks, Sally. This is a great tribute -- sincere and strong and showcasing Cacey's spooky, wildly imaginative voice.

    Bottom

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