I’m flying out on Saturday, so can’t take part in one of the women’s processions that are being held in the four political capitals: London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh on Sunday. Those taking part will be given a sash in one of the suffragette’s colours – white (purity), green (hope) and violet/purple (loyalty and dignity). Manchester is the birthplace of the suffragette movement. The Pankhurst Centre is just a few miles from where I live.
Yesterday I realised that this top, bought in Holland, is in the suffragette colours! Okay, the green is turquoise.
The Pankhurst Centre published a booklet – essays, memories – to celebrate its tenth anniversary in 1997. The one poem included was mine: a sonnet of sorts.
A line to Mrs Pankhurst
Leaving space for dreams between
the cooking and the dressing of the tree
Purple White and Green
Counting wrinkles on baubles I flee
to caress the turkey and knock
about the choice: dead or free.
Skimming fat off steaming stock
to start afresh, to say seems equal folly
Purple White and Green I fill my sock.
With another drink I might feel jolly.
Outside fairy lights among a flurry of snow.
I shudder when he pulls me under the holly
and Purple White and Green I know
that maybe next year I will go.