I can’t believe I spent so long on this…


I hope you won’t think
that I’m fishing for pity, or some reassurance;
I could not bear the idea of that,
but a burning issue is seeking attention,
and it’s worth a mention,
so this is the thing, you see;
I just no longer like being me.

I hate to confess the breadth of my reasons,
and I can’t blame the troubles that came my way,
or the way my life has generally been,
so nobody else is to blame;
it’s only because I am me.

I will put it succinctly:
I no longer
respect myself.
So I will be brave
and straight to the point,
as I stand here before you…
stripped to the hips.

Does my bum look  pretty,
is it pert and flirty?
Do you think it is priceless
or simply  blown out and flabby and big?

It wasn’t a bad poem to start with, but I had to make all sorts of changes to force it into the shape of a woman’s body. Sometimes, wrecking a poem can be time-consuming and gruelling work…

©Jane Paterson Basil

19 thoughts on “Vanity

    1. I’m blessed with a small, neat derriere – whatever else may turn to blubber, my bum remains determinedly in the ’60s. I know it’s outmoded, but I like it that way.
      Seriously – from the back I look 17. When I wear certain clothes, I often sense young men eyeing me up, so I turn round and give them a knowing glance. I love the shocked (and embarrassed) look on their faces when confronted by a wrinkly old hag whose body tells a totally different story from the front 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! Never had a neat backside, in my family women are more the well padded comfortable estate car than the sports model. 🙂 I envy your derriere though not the male glances – err! You are mean about yourself, you lovely person x

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m just happy that it’s no more than glances – when I was young, some men thought women in the street were fair game for a grope.
          Ha! a lot of the famous gropers are now languishing in prison… unless they’ve served their time.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, it was sen as acceptable, wasn’t it, just part of life. Thank goodness those attitudes have changed, in law if not in reality. I remember being groped a few times, but that was mainly on night’s out. Hated that meat market scenario with all the girls dancing in the middle, all the blokes standing round the edge, looking you over. Yuck. Long past that, thank god! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Those were the days… dancing around your handbag – not that I did that. I think we all shoved our money in our coat pockets, hung them in the public cloakroom and hoped for the best. Forget nightclubs – it was back in the days when dances were held in town halls, and discos were in a skanky pre-fab behind a pub. Yay! Disco balls! We girls were no better than the blokes – picking out which band member we fancied. If we didn’t fancy any of them, we were supposed to pretend, so we’d fit in.
              I’m so OLD! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Ha! I have never really owned a handbag either – well I do now because I got one for a do I went to last year, but I can’t see me using it again! Love the idea of the skanky pre-fab behind a pub – I’m imaginiing something like those flat roofed pubs you see round council estates that usually have a St George flag flying outside. I was rubbish at picking up blokes – I think they kind of scared me. And I never liked anyone buying me a drink because I knew they’d expect something in return – and I was usually right 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                1. When I was young, the men always bought the drinks, and they didn’t expect something in return. They were true gentlemen, so they were. There was none of that hows-yer-father in they days… why bother, when you can grab ‘er from behind and wrestle ‘er to the ground as she’s walking home down a dark alley, drunk from all the booze old ‘Arry bought ‘er – or sober; ‘oo cares?.
                  But seriously, this has got me thinking about how pub culture, and male attitudes, have changed since women began paying for drinks. If I was a different sort of writer, I’d compose a Caitlin Moran-style post about it.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Yes, hopefully things have changed, though I noticed on facebook women in the Easton area of Bristol are being warned of the use of date rape drugs in the area. Some men will have control even if thay have to enforce it

                    Liked by 1 person

Thank you for dropping by. If you have any thoughts, questions, treats or cures, you're welcome to drop them in the comment box.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.