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‘The Last Sight of Her’

Mouthing sleep
in a window of adverts
Truth finds herself advertised,
with the same calligraphy
as exploitative news.

I am broken, Truth says,
Can’t hold my head up
can’t shake the dread
settling in the eyes of Truth –
cementing-empty-nothing.

Truth can’t get out of bed,
Truth had a heavy night,
Truth makes boiled eggs
toasts stale bread, and watches
buses explode without care.

Truth is unsure
about the difference
between unsatisfactory living
and clean air dreaming,
but wants, nevertheless
to survive the wind,
to live untorn,
to be undone and done
again.

Aware of the trouble
she has with walking,
she asks the streets to care;
for her legs are not legs
as she moves with broken sin,
navigating the one destination
she learnt at birth.

Truth lives in
62 thousand children’s
bedrooms,
in relaxed breakfasts,
in after school playtime,
in palms open to the sky.

Her mouth is opening
and closing
on the back of a bus,
in a torn dress,
holding the hand of a man
called Love.

Truth is off duty cleaners,
is a heroin addict’s sigh,
is the strawberry stall owner’s
archaic call,
is a family holding each other
as the cranes remove the house
where Truth was born.

“This is the first poem written as part of my Fair Field Poet in Residence position. Inspired by the lead character in Piers Plowman and the first Fair Field table read, I did a walking performance whereby I traveled around Shoreditch attempting to re-trace Will’s search for Truth. I stuck a sign that said Truth on it up in different places around Shoreditch, and took photos, to show the multiplicity of truth as a concept that cannot be confined to one definition.”

Sophie Fenella is the Poetry School/Penned in the Margins Poet in Residence for Fair Field – a multi-arts project re-imagining William Langland’s medieval epic poem Piers Plowman. Find out more at thisfairfield.com

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