She

She

by Afsaneh Gray

FATHER

MOTHER

DAUGHTER

The scene. A bedroom, a council flat in London. FATHER and MOTHER are boxing up DAUGHTER’s belongings, dividing them into two boxes. There is a television in the room.

FATHER                                                                                                        MOTHER

Look at this photograph

We were at Centre Parks

Look at her between us

She was so small, so young

It’s like yesterday

She learned to walk                          

She looked so happy then

So innocent

She looks so unsure

Not a care in the world

 

Now where she walks

The crowd parts for her

Like the sea for the prow

Of a ship

We made sure of that

I’ll put it in the box

Of memories to cherish

Our little girl

Now she looks so small

So lost, unsure

All grown up

The crowd has swallowed her

Like the flame consumes

The wick

Our little girl                                                                                               Our little girl

All grown up                                                                                               All grown up

Out in the world                                                                                         Out in the world

Do you remember?                                                                                   Do you remember?

How she…                                                                                                   How she…

How could we forget?                                                                               How could we forget?

                               

Look at this list of dreams

She wanted to be an undertaker

Or an air hostess

Up in the sky or down in the dust

She liked extremes

What about this dress?

Our little girl

Look at it

So old and worn

How she loved it!

White with yellow spots

The charity box                                                                                            The memory box

She has all the dresses

She could possibly need

The charity box

The memory box

She wore it day and night

The memory box

The charity box

The memory box!

 

She wanted to be an undertaker

Or an air hostess

An air hostess

Could never get

As high as she’s reached

It was her dream

She would have seen so much

Now she’s dissolved into pixels

Seen by so many but so much less

You’re jealous

Me?

You always wanted

To be noticed

Strutting about

In your skirts

And tight dresses

Me?

Now she’s famous

You can’t bear it

Famous for what?

For living with a man

Who kicks a ball

For getting her tits out

How can you bear it?

What time is it?

To see her belong to everyone

She’ll be on TV

Vultures around meat

 

DAUGHTER

It’s the time of the week

You’ve been waiting for

See me

And the man of my dreams

Come into our home

See how we live

We’re inviting you in

See me and him

We couldn’t be happier

On Living TV

 

Don’t you see how lucky she is?

She got away from all this

She got away from us

From the stench of piss

She changed her nose

The stench of hopelessness

She had your nose

Now it’s a stranger’s nose

Pass me that box

I’ll close it up

She didn’t want any of this?

She told you that?

She doesn’t want any of it

They say he cheats

She can buy what she wants

She doesn’t need trinkets

And old memories

She has her life ahead of her

She’s living the dream

On Living TV

                                                                                                               

Our daughter                                                                                              Our daughter

Bright

Dimmed

Beautiful

Too thin

Dazzling

Tinned

They all wish they could be her                                                                They all wish they could be her

She’ll never look back

One day she’ll come back

I hope she never comes back

She’s herself now                                                                                       She’s someone else now

She…                                                                                                            She…