libby, alice, nazneen

12 September 2018

700 women. photo © copyright Rachel Adams

live in soton – do art stuff – lots of friends – watch lots of Hollywood movies – hang out with cats to chill out – cut my own hair – lick doritos – grew up with mum and 2 brothers – lived in Bournemouth for 15 years – like soton more. Inquisitive or argumentative – you chose!

700 women. photo © copyright Rachel Adams

Alice Gillington (1863-1934) Lived in Bitterne, Southampton and Thorney Hill, New Forest. Collected and published songs and dances collected from Romany families in Sholing and the New Forest. Wrote poetry and magazine articles, painted Gypsy life, campaigned for Gypsy rights.

you push past her on the platform,

you push past her on the street

you push her because she is brown, she is a little slow

 

do you know the wickedness of her humour?

the sarcasm of her wit?

you see a red mark, you see brown skin

you do not see beyond

 

do you know the peacefulness of prayer?

the ferocity of her mother Ione?

you see black, you see cloth,

you do not see beyond.

 

do you know her years of study?

the certificates on her mantelpiece?

you see her shuffle, you see her cane

you do not see beyond.

 

you live in vibrant seconds

from breath to breath to breath

they have lived and survived your violence

from breath to breath to breath

 

they are mountains

they are history

they are faith and loss and strength