Thatcher Years

It seems an age ago. It is. When I raged
that I was disenfranchised. Worried that
my tiny sons may grow up to new wars
if the madness of the bombs didn’t
get us first.

But as always the newspaper days are folded up
and thrown away. We do not live in history, though
it is written around us as we move through
a present that isn’t ours to record.
That comes later.

So how can it matter now that she has died?
Old, confused, indifferent to her cocoon in
the kind of luxury that death bed moments
cannot register. The victory, if it was,
was when her own people

stabbed her in the back and she was literally
driven away in that car, red-eyed with disbelief.

 

I wrote this when Margaret Thatcher died and I was reminded of all the rancour of the days when she was in power and yet she had become a shadow of that powerful, scaring woman. And I remembered looking at my tiny sons and wondering if they might be called upon to fight some wretched pointless war for bits of rock.

Then I was thinking of how she was eventually emptied of her personality. My 90 year old mother is slipping into the phase of memory loss now, and my 81 year old sister-in-law has Alzheimer’s. You look so hard to see the person and wonder whether she is still in there somewhere.  And there is nothing.

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