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8am Outsideleft's Big National Poetry Day: Rue Collinge Rue Collinge - That Year

8am Outsideleft's Big National Poetry Day: Rue Collinge

Rue Collinge - That Year

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: October, 2021

approximate reading time: minutes

Rue Collinge - That Year


That year
was the year I taught you
how to make a turban out of towels,
the way I learned when I was twelve.
I hung my head upside down
and let you drape the back of it,
gather each end and twist
to trap the wet rat tails, then
tuck them under.

That year
I also taught you
how to apply mascara,
because that was something I would not give up
for convenience
and how to help me wriggle
into my knickers
and pull up tights -

I sat like a child whilst you socked my feet
tied my shoes
dried my hair
put my clothes on
held the glass of water up with its straw
filled the kettle
cooked the food
cut my food up
cleaned the house
paid the bills
alongside this wife who could not care
for herself
who was

with the world
with you
with everything

That year,
through sickness, not in health,
you loved me.

By Rue Collinge


Something you should know:
Tinker, painter, poet, spy… Rue Collinge is a freelance storyteller living in North-East England. She is currently a semi-finalist in BBC Words First. Raw and lyrical, she has performed across the UK and on the radio, and was awarded the Philip Larkin Poetry Prize 2020. She helps people find their voice in an increasingly noisy world.


Joy to Enjoy today:
12.01am: Ancient Champion - Under Pressure »»
1am: Ade Crossen - Thoughtful Choice »»
2am: Jackie Stein - The Battle of Social Media »»
3am: Dave Pitt - Spiderman Brendan »»
4am: Jimmy Andrex - Festival of Brexit »»
5am: Brendan Hawthorne - We Are Here »»
6am: Ahmed Magare - We Cannot Walk Alone »»
7am: Emma Purshouse - Mermaid on the Number 3 »»
8am: Rue Collinge - That Year »»
9am: Deborah Alma - Mother of Pearl »»
10am: Steve Pottinger - Fatima »»
11am: Jay Lewis - Betrayal 1991 »»
12pm: Hollie McNish - Honestly »»
1pm: Emma Purshouse - Five Minutes on a Midland Train »»
2pm: Rebecca Stanhope - Take Your Hands Off Me »»
3pm: Michael Pederson - Here in a Glasgow Tenement - Not Asleep, Not Awake Either »»
4pm: Glyn Phillips - Doorways »»
5pm: PixieVic - Curious Choices »»
6pm Christian Present - Poeme »»
7pm John Robinson - My Reply To You »»
8pm David Benjamin Blower - 47 »»
9pm Emma Purshouse - Feeling Low? »»
10pm Steve Pottinger - Jam today: Mrs Veronica Blake’s manifesto for a brighter future »»
11pm Jay Lewis - The Starling 1976 »»

Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV

about LamontPaul »»



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