Widow, by Victoria Gatehouse
Following the death of her husband, artist Susie MacMurray created a dress made entirely of pins.
You’ll find me glittering in doorways,
waiting, like a bride, to snag everyone’s eye.
As a bride, I stood through countless fittings,
knew the hopeful calculations of the measuring tape -
now I’ve taken shears to dreams, watched beads
of blood swell and break on the fingertips
of those who re-stitched the seams. Watch me
thread my way across the room. In my wake,
a shivering train, the clicking grief
of one hundred thousand adamantine pins.
From a distance they’re glossy with light,
lie like a pelt. Touchable. Come closer –
held in the smooth weight of each head,
a fleck of memory, the tight edge of a tear.
This poem was first published in Mslexia.
Victoria Gatehouse is a Yorkshire-based poets whose work has featured in numerous magazines and anthologies. She originally trained as a scientist before working on her MA in Poetry from MMU. Victoria is particularly obsessed by the garment sculptures and installations of Suzie MacMurry who’s work she first encountered during a poetry course at Manchester Art Gallery. She has a pamphlet forthcoming with Valley Press and does voluntary work as a Library Ambassador for Calderdale.
3/21/2018 03:59:11 pm
Thank you, Victoria, for introducing us to the work of Suzie MacMurry through your beautifully constructed poem. Are there others inspired by her sculptures that you've written?
3/25/2018 05:02:51 pm
I'm really pleased you like this poem. To answer your question, yes I have written other poems which have been inspired by her work.
3/25/2018 05:26:45 pm
I wrote one about a wedding dress Suzie made out of rubber gloves (all inside out) and another about an installation of mussel shells lined in velvet. Working on others!
4/3/2018 10:07:31 am
I will try to look for these. Thank you, Victoria.
4/9/2018 01:23:49 pm
Hi Shelley, The rubber glove dress poem has now appeared on this website and both the Widow and Velvet Shells poems appear in my pamphlet Light After Light, published by Valley Press. Thanks again for your interest in my work (and Suzie's too).
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