Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Dead Mail

The old man at the very rear of the shop, 
Sitting behind a narrow counter on his chair,
Faint, motionless, still, with a deathly stare;
"Happy St George's Day!" said I, "Can't stop."

But that old man with those deathly eyes on me
Said nothing, and seemed to shrink where he sat.
"It's our day," said I. "England's day!" See?
But he did not see. He was not me. He was flat.

At least, was the thing on his head. His cap.
And then it struck me that, unlike the past,
Nowhere, apart from my abode, did a flag flap;
A flag of white with red cross and made to last.

I repaired to an acquaintance at another place;
Indeed, another shop. "Happy St George's Day!"
I awaited a response. No flicker on his dull face.
Out of his mouth came: "Yes, it is, so they say."

But no desire to bestow on me a similar greeting.
I wrote to some old friends via the internet,
Like Laura, Linda, Laurie; expecting a meeting
Of minds to reciprocate. But they did not. Yet

 I thought Arthur might offer a St George greeting;
Until I realised, like the old man in the chair,
He was not alive to this day, this day so fleeting.
Those who continue to carry the banner are rare!

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