Ours was passed round the family on parcels
and never cut, only teased
of its obstinate knots - one good reason
to stop biting your nails.
It kept well in a dresser jug - door end
by the garage key with its bent metal tag;
coiled, the end rolled, tucked in, made fast
in ways you picked up without thinking.
Like so much:
brown paper (flattened under a cushion);
stamp edging (hoarded in a purse);
paperclips (shining in a toffee tin).
All the things you couldn't buy,
even if you'd thought of it.
I never knew you could buy string.
D A Prince. From Nearly the Happy Hour, 2008. Happenstance Publishing.
* OK so listen up. Just as I've introduced you to the wonders of Poems in the Waiting Room, they've announced that they can't afford to keep doing it. Nobody has agreed to fund it. If you want your local surgery to receive the leaflets you need to support them. As far as I can tell they can do it for £25 a year. I plan to send them a cheque - because these little cards give me so much pleasure during my regular doctor trips. Contact Michael Lee at PO Box 488 Richmond TW9 4SW or email