Great Expectations

This shabby shape is not the real me.
Imagine, please, neat-knotted round my throat,
A silken scarf beneath my winter coat;
Not vulgar.  I will give to charity,
Perhaps.  My wealth won’t make a change in me,
Though change no longer has the need to float
In sweaty fists.  A mansion with a moat
And helipad?  My finer self’s beneath
My iceberg graph of debt outlined in red:
Under the waves, its bulk a reassuring
Black.  You’ll understand, I’ll have to learn
New ways.  I scrape the scratchcard foil and shed
My old abandoned skin.  A roar of falling;
A belching jackpot, gold with unconcern.

Elaine Ewart, Fenland Poet Laureate
Wisbech Museum Charles Dickens Exhibition, September 2012

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