Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Year 1923

Year 1923
In the year of our Lord 1923, Emma Vowels was born, the 
first girl to her Irish parents.  The Family Vowels were 
infamous in the Dublin slums, because they were barefoot 
in the city where hob nailed boots rang out across cobbled 
streets, as nobody could afford a first bus ride into town.
When Emma grew into a pretty girl, her indigo apron, ragged 
and thready, was scorned by the local boys.  They would 
shout out to each other lewd and hurtful remarks, knowing 
she could hear.  "She's like a piano out of tune when she 
speaks" she overheard an old washer woman say,and all the 
boys laughed.
Emma was always in clogs, but fantasised about shoes,  and 
about being able to read books, and about one day sailing 
away on one of the big ships she saw at the quayside.  But 
the truth was that she would probably end up like her poor 
mother, drawing lines of seams on the bare legs of the women 
at the local knocking shop down the dock road. 
Always windy and bleak, the dock road was a place of terror 
and violence that loomed out of the fog and mist to haunt 
the mind of poor Emma Vowels.
As she got older Emma took to collecting matchsticks and 
from them she modelled a collection of little clipper ships 
which she put into empty bottles.  The same sort of ships she 
dreamt of travelling on, to far away lands where the sky was 
blue and the rain was warm and soft, not hard, cold and brittle.
Emma still dreamt of learning to read and write, own red shoes, 
put on silk stockings, and feel sated, not empty.  This grew into 
a mantra for her survival, she repeated it often and loudly, into 
the empty room.
The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule

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