David Lewis Paget
The Very Last Page - Poem by David Lewis Paget
I seemed to be reading the same old book,
Over and over again,
With always a feeling of certainty
That nothing would change, it’s the same,
The answer she gives him is set in stone
No matter how often I read,
There’s none of this changing her mind at will,
So often, a woman’s creed.
The drapes and the curtains are always in place
The antimacassars as well,
The stew in the kitchen is bubbling too,
Gives off a mouth watering smell,
The stranger who’s coming, I know him of old,
I’ve read of him so many times,
He figures somewhere in the future and past
Of the woman who’s waiting to dine.
The husband is wary, he’s older than her,
In truth, he is very like me,
She married for money, in that I concur,
For his wife and mine, Janet Leigh.
Our Janet’s are different, for she’ll never change
The Janet portrayed in the book,
She’s gorgeous and devious, that I can see
And is cheating, by glance and by look.
But mine is so changeable, often she cries
Then she’ll be light as air, fancy free,
She says that she loves me, then gives me a look
Like icicles, hung from a tree,
The stranger that’s coming, I don’t know as well,
He’s someone she’s dredged from her past,
And I’m to be nice, or she’ll put me through hell
But at least I will see him, at last.
I know in the book that they’re silent each time
That the husband will enter the room,
And secretive glances, from him and to her,
Are raising the heat in the gloom,
The scene never changes, I know it by heart
For the words stay unchanged on the page,
No matter how often I read it, I know
That the husband’s containing his rage.
For words that are printed are stable and fixed
Are so very much better than life,
While words that are spoken are so full of tricks,
And changeable, loaded with strife,
The moods of the moment may suddenly pass
But the words keeping on hanging in space,
They echo down corridors, play on the mind
And destroy peace of mind, and of grace.
We sat after dinner and tasted the wine
While she and the stranger had smiled,
I said, ‘What’s your secret, Oh Janet my love,
Will you share it? ’ She said, ‘In a while!
I promised my friend there’d be nothing unsaid
When we’d finished the final course,
And really, my darling, our marriage is dead…
I’m looking to get a divorce! ’
‘I knew it was coming, it said in the book
That the stranger would take you away,
It’s written in stone on page hundred and four
It would happen on just such a day.
Thank God for the words that are written in stone
They’re a comfort, for they never change,
The slow-acting poison I put in your wine
You will find on the very last page.’
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