There is a hollow part of me
Which is not mother, daughter, sister, lover,
It is not friend, it is not colleague,
It is not stepmother, it is not widow,
It is not divorcee, it is not pensioner,
It is not customer or bookseller
Neither is it the woman in the restaurant
Or in the auditorium
Or the woman in that long queue
Which you don’t see in men’s toilets,
Neither is it the reader or the voter;
Nor the blogger, nor the tweeter;
The solid branches of my life
Grow strong and dense from the hollow trunk
Which Sartre called The Transcendental Ego,
Analysts and therapists
Try in vain to penetrate
Yet with age the trunk solidifies,
Rings displayed in the tannin bark
Like a sequoia tree, sempervirens,
Evergreen and sempiternal
Ever living, ever dead,
Hollow as I live and breathe,
Until breath yields to opacity.

10 December 2013