! Oh To Be In England... - Poem by Michael Shepherd
[The names and some of the details of this report have been changed to protect the identities of the persons involved - Ed.]
Yes I'm afraid so.
Mr Smith and Mrs Jones from down the road.
Five years now.
It's Mr Jones I feel sorry for.
Though from what I hear...
But it's Mrs Smith who really miffs me.
We're supposed to be friends, I thought.
Not a word, not a hint, these five years.
I really feel - betrayed.
Of course the men and the women here have a different take on this.
Well you'd expect it, considering.
(My Jack laughed like a drain when he read the details.
Went out early to buy the News of the Screws he calls it.)
I think the bastard's envious.
Not a word, not a hint.
Even the vicar's wife didn't know.
At least Catholics have confession.
Though of course their parish priests don't have wives...
I'm a historian. Was. The village well,
the parish pump, market day, after church, coffee mornings...
'Social cohesion in rural communities'.
I B.A.- ed on it.
Say what you like,
gossip keeps a community together.
No, I'm not going round to see her.
I feel - betrayed...
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