The Friday Poem on 24/03/23
We chose ‘The Big Reveal’ by Julie-ann Rowell to be our Friday Poem this week because we really like the way the poet has taken rainy, shuttered Nantes, and all it represents, and re-fashioned it into a thing of beauty. We appreciate the carefully observed detail – the tin-top tables, the despondent dog – and the skill of the poet in managing tone and pace. And we are held by the compelling narrative which, line by line, divulges so much about the narrator and her partner. But what we like best is the take-home message, which is all about – and sorry if this sounds cheesy – the transformational power of love.
The Big Reveal
Nantes, teeming rain like an angry child’s tears
and everything closed because it’s Monday.
We topple into a bar tabac. Men cluster
around tin-top tables, a fat Jack Russell
wandering despondently between their legs.
The bartender and the men smile and laugh
as we drowned rats grin back and find a place
to huddle. I have wine in a little glass and
he has beer in a huge round bowl. Une vie heureuse!
We toast the assembled but I daren’t take down
my hood. He smiles and kisses my hand,
something he’s started doing lately,
no more sloppy snogging down an alleyway, those yesterdays.
We can’t stay here forever. Outside, it’s still a deluge
and windy too, blows back my hood so violently
my wig comes loose. He grabs it before it’s whisked away.
I’m bald as a coot, as my Gran used to say. He helps me
fix the wig on tight, which takes effort. It hurts.
I can’t see through the lopsided fringe, so he guides me,
whispering, ‘My perfect love’. Nantes is beautiful today.