On the Record
Shakespeare, Anthony Trollope and Sarah Vine*
A man needs his wife in times of crisis:
reflect, I said, get to know your skin.
His is terribly pink, you know, as if heís
scrubbed it clean. I call him my choirboy,
my dear, darling, good little pet politician.
Those chubby cheeks; that hopeful smile.
To the victrix the spoils. Enjoy, I said.
Have fun. Consider it not so deeply,
my love: who needs to be liked, after all?
Get tough or you canít survive in this job
of ours, though humour, warmth and
empathy are important qualities, too.
Things on which I resolve are generally
accomplished: husbands are rather like
dogs, so I put my foot down early. Donít
let folly unman you, I said, sex is a cerebral
activity. Exercise, my love, and always
screw your courage to the sticking place.
Rest, I said; you know the season of all
natures is sleep. Give as good as you get
and donít unbend your strength. Remember
that stress shows on your face. You must
have specific assurances. Do not concede
any ground, I said. Be your stubborn best.
*This is a found poem, remixed freeform from excerpts from
Macbeth, Barchester Towers and Sarah Vineís
If you have any comments on this poem, Sharon Phillips
would be pleased to hear from you.