Northern Soul is two years old. Two years!

To celebrate, we had a bit of do on Thursday. One of the highlights of the evening was a reading by our Poetry Correspondent, Wendy Pratt. This poem – an exclusive to the party and written in response to derisory male comments when Wendy was out running – went down a storm.

Fuck You

Yes, I’m fat with a crooked nose
from an accident with a lamppost
and a slightly lazy eye and I look
(or so I’m told) the spitting dab
of my grandmother. I’m thirty
seven and a bit. I am scarred, I am
scared, I am falling down drunk
on a Saturday night and too hungover
to leave the house. But I run. You
see me running, or jogging, or
dragging my fat arse along, puce
in my moon face, eyes watering,
fists clenched, sweating under
each swinging tit, gob gaping
because I’m fat and I am running.
Because once upon a time I wore
skirts and bare legs and danced
in clubs and once upon a time
I wore skin tight jeans and looked
so hot I set the house on fire. At twenty
I could have passed for sixteen
and when that cute little drug habit
kicked in I was the skinniest I’ve ever been.
And I remember that, like a drunken
dream. Not the stomach in knots
and the fingers down my throat
and the desperation to be thinner,
but the loose hips, light headed
high-as-a-kite girl with legs so long
they hurt your eyes and auburn hair
like Anne Boleyn. So, yeah, I’ve done
my time getting through and fighting on.
Now I am grown up and have a house,
And have a man, and when the things I loved,
I mean, the things I really loved, were gone,
despite me being so fucking good, all those
rear view mirror dreams, I fought. I fight on.
This? This training, this getting fitter,
this bringing myself back to something
I half recognise, this is nothing. Not to me.
So go on, laugh it up, turn away, whatever.
I don’t give a fuck.


To buy Wendy’s latest poetry collection, click here