You carefully applied grey eyeshadow and long strokes of black mascara.
The image in the mirror never appeased.
You brushed your long fair hair and considered tying it back.
Instead you chose to leave it free.
In your small red handbag you placed keys, mobile, wallet,
cigarettes and lighter, a miniature vodka and some valium.
A blue ford escort minicab took you there.
You talked to the driver about your life, your family, your country.
Paying the fare, you thanked him and said that you were fine.
It was dark and cold, the grass wet from the morning’s rain.
The moon shone luminously.
You ran all the way, the driver of the cab calling after you.
Feet wet in impractical shoes.
Your breathing coming fast and loud, heart pounding,
mascara tears trickled down your face.
The sound of traffic and the cabbies voice grew fainter.
You could see the edge, white chalk lit by the moon.
Finally it was here, the end to land and life.
You jumped into the cold November air.
The silence was immaculate.
My name is Eileen, I live in a village with my son and my cat. I used to be a magician’s assistant but I’m claustrophobic so that didn’t work so well. I don’t like goats cheese. I love velvet and Patsy Cline. I hate social media but I’m hooked.
I was very moved by the painting The Stanhope Street Group 1926 and particularly by Frank Barber from whom Ravilious tried unsuccessfully to obtain a commission. Later Frank Barber committed suicide. Further along I was very drawn to Eric Ravilious’ Beachy Head 1939, from those two paintings I wrote this poem.