In our town, people live in rows.
The only irregular thing in a street is the steeple;
And where that points to, God only knows,
And not the poor disciplined people!
And I have watched the women growing old,
Passionate about pins, and pence, and soap,
Till the heart within my wedded breast grew cold,
And I lost hope.
But a young soldier came to our town,
He spoke his mind most candidly.
He asked me quickly to lie down,
And that was very good for me.
For though I gave him no embrace --
Remembering my duty --
He altered the expression of my face,
And gave me back my beauty.
The Fired Pot: Anna Wickham, from The Man with a Hammer, 1916
Broken shard of WW I era British Naval pottery, retrieved from Scapa Flow, Orkney: photo by Richard Harvey, 2003
View of Scapa Flow from atop Churchill Barrier #1, between Lamb Holm Island and mainland Orkney Island: photo by Gregory J. Kingsley, 2009