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Eleanor Roosevelt woke up in Paris. Hillary

Clinton wore an autumn jacket, bright

beads, and addressed the Press about

the new Libyan No Fly Zone. Hillary’s

campaign faux pearls - as big and

innocent as Jackie Kennedy’s - were gone:

replaced by those semi-precious beads

in elegant earth colours, just

as Eleanor would have worn

herself. Hillary, however, did not

mention that this day in Bahrain

fifty demonstrators were shot, the Saudi

Army had moved in to savagely protect

the Government, with the glowing

Pearl Roundabout monument destroyed

because the protestors had employed

it as a gathering symbol. Eleanor

remembered the thirty-year-old statue

as being indeed quite as lovely

as a star turn at the jewellers,

the giant luna pearl enclasped

high up in petal-claws. Maybe

because she was old, she thought,

she increasingly loved the pretty.

            Hillary was actually

even prettier each day, but

the best she could attempt on Bahrain

was to recommend social order, the sacred

schoolday, workday. Eleanor had been

to school in France two centuries ago, the

headmistress a very nice American

Lesbian whose name she forgot, but

she did recall reading the Medieval

poem 'Pearl' on the pearl maiden lost

by her father as a child, reappearing as

an angelic young woman reproaching him

for not being a 'gentle jeweller', since

he mourned her inconsolably. We also,

Eleanor reflected, continue to grow

after death. Hillary at one point scratched

her head and visibly thought this would not

look so good and stopped. She often

scratched it absently, luxuriantly, as

women do, when she discussed her plans

with Eleanor. She could do anything in front

of her, she smiled with sugar, pretended it

was to the Press (some of whom suddenly

looked puzzled at her delicious fondness),

told all who were staying to enjoy

their night in Paris teasingly, then left.

Her cute march out of the room, smile

were as self-consciously naughty as a moppet

in the movies, so relaxed

because Eleanor was there. As soon

as they were in the hotel room, she knew

as useful as the Seine, she'd hear

'But, now, about Bahrain, my dear ...'

and thankfully it would not let her be.

Hillary and Eleanor 9: The Pearl Roundabout

Jennifer Maiden

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