Saturday, 7 July 2012

Mass Observation

Mass Observation
6 July

Woman, 19, slim,
blonde hair, beige cardigan, pale skin.

The beauty here, and the absurdity,
is in the detail. Little things

you might not notice otherwise:
notebooks and boxes, names,

a neat new hat, stiff upper lip;
step back, stay in the shadows,

save the world through tiny observation,
minutiae, delicacy.

There’s a futility, a sadness
in the smallest things, movement and words,

desire and hope, love at first sight
and the unbearable, unfightable desire

to be beloved. And in the end you find
an old, bent woman in a chair,

a birdy tilt of her old head upon her neck,
and in her silence all the thoughts

of her long, patient life hang without word,
unspoken, held in boxes

and notebooks, whilst her own life slips by
without reciprocated thought or document.

Mass Observation runs at the Almeida until 14 July

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