MRS NOAH “It was an old story that was no longer true ... Truth can go out of stories, you know. What was true becomes meaningless, even a lie, because the truth has gone into another story. The water of the spring rises in another place”
. (Ursula K. Le Guin)
“He was never so happy as when he had a project:
— an ark? And a bloody big one too.
I mean, work-shops, wood-stores, animal shelters — fair enough
but a bloomin’ great ark?
Though I’ve got to hand it to him
at nearly 600 years old he’d lost none of his DIY skills.
Anyway, I’d learnt the hard way
if a man gets a bee in his bonnet about something
it’s best to let them get on with it, and say nought.
Then the animals — talk about confusing.
First it was two of each, then seven, plus two only of unclean animals.
I’m no good at maths, or cleaning, so I left the boys to sort it out.
But did they really have to bring on board rats as well - and, for Chrissakes, snakes!
Weren’t they the ones who started all this mess? But at least dinosaurs
had died out, irksome beasts.
Anyway, worst bit was fending off all those drowning people.
Shem, Ham & Japheth with their father, each poking long hard sticks
shouting “We’re the good guys, piss off you evil bastards”. Terrible affair.
But as a woman I had no say.
Had fun with my three daughters-in-law though.
We made a good foursome playing Bridge
to fill in the months.
I like to sift truth from the modern trend of embellished story-telling.
The dove that brought back the olive leaf, for example;
after nearly a year of the olive tree being submerged in water — I mean, come on. What’s more, Noah wasn’t the only doom-sayer boat-builder on the planet —
of course other people survived.
And rainbows, well, they’ve sure been around a long time,
way before the ark.
Anyway, after landing
it was quickly back to same-old same-old
and being a non-person, barely noticed,
I decided to bugger off and do my own thing.
Met a nice young woman too
only 100 years old
and we settled down comfortably together while I wrote my memoirs.
I heard the old goat Noah lived another 350 tedious years
and became a cantankerous drunkard
cursing his grandson Canaan.
I was glad to be out of it, you know. 200 years together puts quite a strain on a relationship.
I’ve got to say this though
I’ve lived through interesting times.
The Tower of Babel was the next big news
but that’s another story.
And by the way, I do have a name; it’s Na’amah
It means ‘sweet and pleasant’.” #CarolAnnDuffy
Inspired by Duffy’s poem “Mrs Aesop” from her 1999 book “The World’s Wife”. The poem can be found on-line here: https://genius.com/Carol-ann-duffy-mrs-aesop-annotated