Inch on, edge on, trudge, trudge in the bitterest
ice-storm the political landscape has seen
these many years. Smile, smile at the howling
news-bite hoydens, the cameras, the shrieking descending
spicules of questions, questions, ever sharper,
the white-out where there had been a clear way forward.
There is a way forward. She is blinded, they say,
all’s torn into one, the country’s need, her legacy,
the date of the next election, and after that …
Legacy? Pah! For Westminster to enact
the people’s will – for a new page to turn
in this old book – is not to do with my future.
Here they come. Sometimes it seems the blind world
is baying at the window of Britain. It is their right.
Let them. The chatter will pass. Sometimes it seems
the journey will never end and I am nowhere.
But I shall discern a way. At the eye of the storm
a calm persists, a wonderful ease. Thankyou
to those who support and who love me. Thanks also to
my rock, my shelter in every storm, my husband.
And to my God and my country.
I am one who has sworn at you, Theresa,
under my breath at the screen. Out of the shards
of the splintered mirror of opinion the air is crammed with
mine is the one that looks back to a sound Britain.
That restless sense, that yen for other cultures,
that jewel-like grit, that mind-speck of discovery –
are we to let it go? Can we not offer
more, far more, if we are true to ourselves,
and as an ally keep our independence?
But I have come to know what drives you forward.
In years to be it may be your example
that drives another leader on, head down
against a storm more terrifying than this,
to find a way. To smile, to pause, to listen,
to master detail and to note all views,
to step back, to check sudden shifts, dislodgements –
if need be to adjust to perilous forces –
to take a slap in the face of the wind, re-gather –
so to drive on. In the new world, Theresa,
this is the kind of strength increasingly
that may be needed. Lady of Britain, lead on.