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1 Minute read

The Million Women Minus One

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1 Minute Read

I’ve lost their latest questionnaire, along

with its covering letter, thanking me for my

previous entries which have informed

their research so they could inform me of all

the risks I have taken, based on my consumption

of alcohol, twenty years of smoking

 

and the size of my waistline. I remember

filling it in; sealing the freepost envelope –

would anyone return it if it wasn’t free?

I remember seeing it on the front seat

of the car – a reproachful shade of white,

waiting to be posted, its later disappearance

 

a mystery. That they will miss my data is certain;

how else will they know that a woman of my age

can still be sexually active; though her liver

may be ballooning in secret, or becoming sclerotic,

and her brain about to atrophy on more

than the recommended units per day?

 

I want to throw a party and invite all the other

million women who simply break

every rule and rejoice; who lose the damn

questionnaire down the backs of their sofas;

who bin it without even bothering to fill it out,

who leave it behind in their lovers’ cars.

About Wendy Klein

Profile photo of Wendy KleinUS-born Wendy Klein left forever in 1964 and gypsied around Europe as a single mum, coming to rest in England in 1971. A retired psychotherapist, she believes in the healing properties of dogs and dancing and hopes to be humanely destroyed if she is deprived of either. She is about to publish her third collection, Mood Indigo (Oversteps Books) has won many poetry prizes and been widely published from Smiths Knoll to The Frogmore Papers.

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