Friday, 25 February 2011

let me shipwreck your thighs

They are Dylan Thomas' words, I can't claim them. We giggled and swooned over them when we were schoolgirls in tunics and ties, dreaming madly. We imagined pale cool thighs and something coming at us, rocking, hard, a wonderful sea-smell, our faces flushed. It wasn't vulgar it was poetic, as poetic as were Thomas' words, damp and mist-filled, taken to bed. It wouldn't hurt it would be sublime.

(I don't think my daughter thinks of it quite like this. Oh, how we were so keen and literary. Oh, how Facebook reporting has altered all of this.)

And now that we are older, and have been shipwrecked many times over, in fact our debris are scattered over the seabed, how does it feel? What have we learnt of sea vessels in the night?

Ask any older woman of love. Often, she won't mind speaking of sexual specifics. What she likes, where she feels she still has to travel, who were her most joyful lovers. There are those of us who have strayed, who have left good men or men who were abusive. There are those of us whose child-bearing years became unbearable and, converted to suckling mothers, we lost ourselves and then rebelled, wanting more with an explosive tenderness learned from motherhood itself. There are those of us who thrive on violence, who need an edge, who like intrigue and deceit or the freshness of younger men.

Then there are those of us who, entwined in a busy throbbing life, so fatigued at the end of the day, brain fitful and awake, suddenly, wretchedly, find themselves lovestruck, struck down by love, wilting and unmoored.

Dreaming again, like a schoolgirl in a tunic and laddered tights.

This may be the spring of sluicing, shipwrecked thighs.

1 comment:

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