Patricia Wooldridge

Patricia Wooldridge
Patricia Wooldridge

Patricia Wooldridge grew up in West Sussex, moving to East Hampshire in the 1990’s. After a career in secondary schools teaching English she moved to the University of Portsmouth in 1994. As a senior lecturer she worked in the Education department before developing a role in the teaching of Creative Writing, including the establishment of a BA combined honours degree course in this subject. In 2010 she left university employment in order to concentrate on her writing. She has a BA and MA in English Literature (London University) and a D.Phil in Creative Writing (Sussex University).

I Stop Wearing the Mini-skirt, 1972

I listen to Jimi Hendrix, Foxy Lady, in the dark, drink milk
in chilled cartons on Victoria Station. Beyond the factory
hours of vacation working, I don’t know what I’ll do.

The two of us deep in the forest, summer
under two-man canvas, the tearing rasp of cows
at night and will they see the guy ropes?

I don’t know if I want a baby.

I review my life:
I love The Nutcracker Suite, being at the ballet –
my neighbour’s treat – still dreaming the dancer.

Does my English teacher want her poetry books back?
Twenty more years before I know she told them
I’d be a writer.

How will I survive being away from you, behind the door
of this university room?
You hitch-hike all the way to see me.

They would have loved a proper wedding – dad
to give me away, mum fussing round the bridal gown,
petting the grandchildren already born.

I stop wearing the mini-skirt.
I don’t know that I do love you is not forever.
I read Rachel Carson and believe the sea is dying.

Patricia Wooldridge

Commended National Poetry Competition 2013;
published 2014 – The Poetry Society (poetrysociety.org.uk)

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