Almost before I knew it, there you where,
bridging a brace of trestles east to west
in the front room; blinds drawn against the glare
of your touched-up Boer War photograph --
grandiloquent waxed tash and centre-parted hair
well-nigh as brilliant as your bandolier --
its widespread concentration straying everywhere.

Any minute one of my magpie aunts will hoick me
up for a bird's-eye view of your plugged nostrils,
your tarnished collar-stud, the livid circle left
by your sawn-off wedding band. Shan't look!
Won't breathe a word! The dado's sprouting tumours.
Aunt Emma delves, arse-up'ards, in the tallboy
and lets one rip. I hold my breath until I'm out of it.




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