it’s as cheap sitting as standing

But that Saturday morning, end of October, instead of trying to write a poem, he suddenly and without knowing why began to write out all he could remember of the sayings and turns of phrase his mother and her mother and her sister had reached for to colour and solemnify their speech. They came in a rush in no particular order, he heard them in the women’s voices, distinct voices, but any of the three women might have spoken them out of the stock they held in common for the family down the generations on the female side. Listening, he wrote: little pigs have big ears, least said soonest mended, enough’s as good as feast, face like a wet Whit Week, love locked out, like death warmed up, the ever open door, black as the chimney back, better to be born lucky than rich, pots for rags, he had a good home and he left, like feeding a donkey strawberries, waste not want not, made up no grumbling, rise and shine, sooner keep you a week than a fortnight, I’ll make one less, it’s as cheap sitting as standing…

David Constantine, Strong Enough to Help

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