William Bibby

Poetry

A Poem from November

Friday, 1 Nov 2019

IN BURMA

   (for T N-S)


At the Foreign and Colonial Club
a waitress unbuttons her pinny and kneels,
collapsing upon the teak wood floor;
an elderly Karen feeling for coins,
her fingers bent like a claw – nothing lasts –
its always quiet when the sun is shining,
as though its presence demands respect.

I never told you how, when I arrived,
to join your father, he flew out into the roads
in a green Lysander, rocking his wings.
I stood on the deck waving my straw hat
our ship finally at anchor in the bay.
Five weeks it took in 1948
to go steadily round the world for love.

Someone’s called on the phone – who does one call? –
An agency with knowledge of God?
She’s not delinquent, like the little sod
who pinched my hand-bag in the bar one day;
Oh! she’s up now and is slowly raising
and lowering her arms like a great bird
whose wings she wears, about to fly away.










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