Monday, 3 June 2013

I am not a Yorkshireman

I’m standing in the Northumberland Street

parcel office in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

I’m in a very bored queue, waiting

to collect a packet from a bookshop in

Minnesota, which the postman claims

that he couldn’t fit through my letterbox –

the packet, I mean, not Minnesota.

I am not a Yorkshireman. Neither was I

a Yorkshireman when I joined this bloody queue.

As I’m a woman, this may be obvious to some.


There are some Yorkshiremen in this queue,

they don’t move, much. I hope the Minnesota bookshop

have sent me a book about Louise Nevelson,

who is not a sculptress, but a sculptor.

She is not a Yorkshireman either, though

as a child she emigrated from Russia to New York.

I don’t know if she ever made it to Minnesota.

My parents never emigrated, they never stopped

long enough in one place: Aden, Aldershot,

Berlin, Carthage, Tripolitania, Zanzibar.


This queue hasn’t moved. You do have to

stop moving to become an emigrant, who

comes from somewhere, or an immigrant

who comes to somewhere. However, I am still

not a Yorkshireman, still waiting in this

queue which with a burst of optimism rare,

for Huddersfield, has just moved on two whole steps.

I am still waiting for my book from Minnesota, about a

sculptor who may or may not, have been to Minnesota.

She has certainly never been to Yorkshire.


The queue is in Yorkshire, so is the book, I

live in hope. I’m very interested in Sculpture.


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