When I read poems new to me, I have to read them slowly and carefully, and, if it is a poem I particularly like, several times. Then at last it may become one of those I know so well I only have to let the book fall open at the page as I walk past, between washing line and ironing board, and in the length of time it takes to switch the basket of washing from one hip to the other, I will have taken in the sense and beauty of a line or two and it will sustain me.
An exchange of letters between a middle-aged woman and the curator of a museum which houses the preserved remains of a prehistoric man which she has thought of visiting since childhood, never making trip to the museum herself. She has, all her life, tended to take the path of least resistance saying, early on: "It is hard for us to say, isn’t it, that nothing is so fixed it cannot be altered? The seasons do not linger, waiting for it to be convenient for the sowing and the harvesting. The artefacts you study are what they are. They represent a moment in time." Still, when she finds change thrust upon her, she finds it in herself to break the the pattern of a lifetime and actively make a choice that is both by herself and for herself. The letters help her and the man who wrote them asks her to meet him at the museum.