The Single Woman

Some of my friends have encouraged me to share a poem I wrote with you, Dear Reader. The product was really the result of a number of things – Woman’s Day on the 8th of March; a 20th century Vinegar Valentine postcard about old maids I came across very recently – boy was that rough!; my fascination with the way old maids and spinsters are sometimes portrayed in literature; and reading a bit too much literature featuring said old maids and spinsters.

So here it is – my tribute to the old maid and the spinster – the single woman…

Old Lucy had a cat and a bird
She’d never snared a man, which “is absurd”,
the people thought. “But then she’s always been queer!”
wagged the poisonous, malicious tongues.
For they care nothing for Old Lucy’s tears
As she dreams of a love who’ll remove her fears
While drinking tea with her cat and her bird
Longing and yearning to be free.

But now consider Goody Browning’s fate
Forever unhappy, thanks to her mate.
She’d married so as not to be alone …
He’s unfaithful and drunk all day and night,
even beats her if she puts up a fight.
The last time I saw Missus B.,
she had her fifth baby on her knee
Longing and yearning to be free.

So for every lifestyle there’s a price
Then perhaps a spinster is not worse off
Huh! Let them ridicule! let them scoff!
And a shout out to the single woman,
the old maid and the spinster
For she’d rather be alone but free
than be the woman who settled for “Mr Maybe”!