Don’t call for me there, I have stepped
off that dance floor, and I am
relieved. Every part of me
is mine, no hand on my shoulder, arm
around my waist, no waiting
for an invitation. A hundred years ago
they would have called me – with those
two million others – surplus, extra. Elizabeth
the First caused similar confusion. No mate,
no children. Virgin Queen, they also named her
Mother of the Nation. Also: Prince. You
can call me anything you like. I know my name.
Tania Hershman's debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, will be published by Nine Arches Press in July 2017 and her third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, by Unthank Books in May. Tania is also the author of a poetry chapbook, and two short story collections, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). Tania is curator of ShortStops, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland. You can find out more on her website. She tweets at @taniahershman.