Telling the stories of the artefacts, O human legs

During July-August 2012 Creative Future ran a course at Brighton Museum called ‘Museum Tales’. Run by Liz Bahs, a published poet, course participants, all marginalized writers, produced the following pieces inspired by the Museum’s collection. At the end of the course they performed their work in the Museum galleries. The course will run again in January 2013. For more information check their website.

Creative Future run the creative writing workshops in partnership with Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Museum Tales performance
Museum Tales performance

On the way here I saw a man with only one leg.

This sounds like a joke – but it’s not.

I keep seeing people with only one leg and, when I do,

I think of the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch –

a one-legged man auditioning for the role of Tarzan.

But this is not

about a joke.

This is about me thinking about people who have a limb missing, and

whether they should cut their clothes

– in this case trousers –

to reflect the fact

or let the extra –

the unrequired material –

dangle, or flap.

Or fold, and stitch it neatly, hiding the end.

Or make it short

and be proud of the stump,

saying – in effect –

this is who I am.

I’m not deficient in any way,

I’m not trying to fill clothes designed for another type

this is who I am –

exactly that: a one-legged

person whose strangeness I sing.

Amanda Geary

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