Emily Wilding Davison at the Epsom Derby
Paul David Adkins
-- On 04 June, 1913, British suffrage movement member Emily Wilding Davison rushed onto the Epsom Derby race course, into the path of Anmer, the King’s horse. She died four days later of a fractured skull.
Clutching suffrage flag and pamphlets
I squat and waddle under the rail,
spring onto the course
into the roar and thunder
to brave those hooves,
four iron hammers
striking my skull like an anvil,
releasing a thousand sparks
to shower the track,
catch and sparkle my hair.
My flag a green streamer unfurled and drifting.
My hat a peacock blooming.
My pamphlets flapping –
a hundred frightened pigeons.
This movement needs a martyr
to bear her breast before the pounding form
of horse and rider.