Ironing The Lady
At first you think, end of an era, gun carriage,
hunt for old bunting, look out for the plates
left behind after your first marriage
and also the way you were weirdly keen on Dire Straits
not to mention big hair
or the New Romantics, androgynous and ungreasy,
and the Habitat glasses and the Habitat chair.
You don’t think of St. Francis of Assisi,
the false note of piety
struck before she started taking on the pagan
unbelievers, the miners, before her notoriety,
or her trips in the golf-kart with Ronald Reagan
and the famous TV occasions, where she said the lady
was not for turning, or that Labour was frit,
or (of Europe), ‘No, no, no, no’. Or of the shady
figures who followed her, or that bit
in Spitting Image where she called the cabinet veg,
or the way the champagne flowed like pus
through yuppies, who were managing hedge
funds and making packets out of all of us
cheering The Task Force
as it played the Empire Card where there are no
rules except ones you make up for yourself, of course,
and where you lie about the Belgrano
before the putsch and the tears – it’s the finish, eh,
you thought. She’ll be erased.
Unlike her house-guest, General Pinochet.
Now, amazed, you hear of her vanishing, and the TV morticians
dig out the collagen, shake a collective head.
Polite, you are full of inhibitions.
All the same: she’s dead.