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Open Tue 12 – 6pm, Wed – Sun 12 – 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday 12 noon - 6 pm, Wednesday to Sunday 12 noon – 8 pm
Turn off your phone.
Place it, face down,
on cold sandstone: that oxblood-red back-step
she buffed for sixty years.
past the well-kept lawn, its marrow stripes
while radio waves walk through walls,
bark, bone and steel:
congregate to a signal.
Rest your eyes beyond the fence
on the trunks of birch that ebb into the wood.
Feel those white trees breathe.
of branch and leaf may offer some relief.
Whether they do or don't,
after a time you must pick up your phone,
face its empty screen:
turn it on again.
I was seven -
Mummy I said - one of the girls in my class
it’s her birthday - and this evening she’s having
a party - can I go
I put on my favourite party dress - Mum
carefully wrapped up some cheap Turkish jewellery
in a piece of tissue paper - for my gift -
And up the road I went - outside school five
or six little girls stood around - the girl
whose birthday it was arrived with her dad
in the car - and as everybody went to get
and her father sternly followed by saying
I’m afraid you’re not invited - you don’t
have an invitation -
I waited outside of school for as long as I
could - and after hiding the jewellery - I went home -
Mum - asked ‘did you enjoy the party’ - yes I said
it was lovely -
That night - I laid in bed and cried - I cried
myself to sleep - and in the morning I asked -
Mummy, what’s an invitation?