Matilda dines alone
in a house full of dust
and memories washed down
with a bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pape.
Bonnie and Clyde sit under the table,
scratching their fleas and waiting for
a morsel to drop at their paws
before retreating to the ailing Aga
that doesn’t quite hold its fire.
They see off the disgruntled cat
who sprints the stairs and nestles in
the cosy airing cupboard that houses
fusty candlewicks that welcomed
new kittens into the world and carry
After Coronations Street and Emmerdale
she treads the stairway of threadbare Axminster
overlooked by fearsome
ancestors regaled in splendour.
From her window she looks at the moon
and sighs, she hates being old, hates being alone
with her memories and a wardrobe full of
satin ball gowns with waspish waists.
She unclips a hair clasp and a tumble of silver hair
falls round her shoulders caressing her drooping breasts.
The waist is still visible, the tummy still taut
enough to fit the jodhpurs that lie over the chair
waiting for her attention tomorrow morning
when she rides up the meadow,
Bonnie and Clyde in pursuit,
until Heston snorts to a halt in Bluebell wood.
Edward Jackson stands smiling,
his tweed jacket with torn pockets
sports a battered rose in the lapel,
as he doffs his cap and holds out a caring hand to
his very own rose who slides from the saddle
and into his waiting arms,
ridiculously in love,