Meeting with the dubious importer

you could sense, even while showing off

expansive lawns and woodland, how

he was assessing whether you could be

of use as an appendage to his contacts.

Then, introduction to the gracious wife.


Much later, meeting the son, contingent

on a different narrative, surprise

at how he proved to be both charming and

disarming, glad of any opportunity

to dispense from his extensive

knowledge of ecclesiology.


Yet all the time aware of being your

familiar retentive self, ready

to engage, while struggling to find words;

as at the garden party afterward where

as outsiders, so of no intrinsic interest,

some unaccustomed effort was required. 


Which may be how you found yourself squeezed

in a sports car driven by Mollie Someone,

frilly matron, travelling too fast

to reach the station, although when she backed

into that road-sign you were a spectator

on a rolling hill in open country


where it proved possible to get a signal,

ring emergency, but not give any

clear location, only describe the scene,

with fragments of a story you could barely

comprehend, and so had no idea

if it was one that you were meant to tell.





Tony Lucas







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