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A white space - part 1

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Below is the poem entitled A white space - part 1 which was written by poet Gracie Bawden. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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A white space - part 1

(A white space. One door is labelled ''arrive'' another ''depart'' a white bed in the centre labelled ''stay''. In the bed are two women sleeping back to back, with the sheet pulled up high. A woman enters dressed semi-formally looking dazed and confused, she looks around baffled.)

Eliza: Hello, hello? My God, where am I? It''s so white, I''m so...

(A girl in the bed sits up, looks at her, frustrated at her sleep being interrupted)

Missy: You''re sooo dead.

(The other woman sits up, wearily rubs her eyes)

Martha : Missy we''ve talked about this. We let them down lightly. You mustn''t shock them like that

(She climbs out of bed, dressed in 1940''s clothing)

Martha: Nice to meet you, I''m Martha, and this delightful young thing is Missy. You are...

Eliza: Eliza. Look, where am I?

Missy : Purgatory, the ''afterlife'', heaven. Call it what you like. Honey...you''re dead.
(She steps out of bed, dressed in a school uniform, a short tie, a black mini skirt and a shirt only buttoned two thirds of the way, Eliza laughs nervously)

ELiza: No, no I don''t believe in the afterlife. When you''re dead you''re...

Missy: Dead! God..we''ve got another one on our hands Martha. You can deal with her.

Martha: Well, darling, what do you remember?

Eliza: I was in the car, with Nick, my husband, and ummm, oh, and in front of the car walked the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, a dear, all proud and tall and...

Missy: and BANG! You''re dead.

Eliza: No I must have just drifted off. This is all a dream. Isn''t it?

(She looks at Martha as if for reassurance. She receives only an apologetic look)

Eliza: Wow. Dead. That''s quite something.

(She sits on the bed)

It''s not...how I imagined. I mean, where is everyone? You must know.

Martha: You can''t know anything really. Not here. But after fifty years you begin to form ideas. I think the afterlife is separated into different rooms just like this. Every day women walk through here, weeping, confused, empty. I think this is the room where mourning mothers pass. Pushed through that door...drawn to that one. They rarely ever tell us their stories, but you can see it in their eyes you know? There''s something about a woman who has lost a child.

Eliza: Not really a woman at all.

Martha: Yes.

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