Bolo Rei

Does he talk?        
                                    Not like some,            
Do I know him?          
                                  I know the order
he takes off his clothes,          
how he folds and places them on the chair.       
The way he counts and folds the notes,                
one extra as a tip.
I know his preferences...                          
Why he chose the code words ‘Bolo Rei.’

His alibi?                  
                              Yes, sometimes                  

out of town research into his family tree,                    
the fact finding mission into the best deal
on the next car, but usually the shopping trip
for the bread she prefers, yeast and gluten free.

She hates the colour red. Thinks diamonds
look common. Had a strict upbringing.        
Would never walk round the house naked,             
Would worry if she knew their eldest was on the pill.     
They’ve agreed; she cooks, he washes up except                       
that curry which though he says it himself            
and she agrees, he can do better than the local Indian.
But really she’s the cook, even bakes for him
not herself due to her allergies.

They only disagree on holidays, she prefers cold
him hot, take it in turns to decide. Paints as well.
Never feels she’s good enough and looking back
that first time in her bedsit he knew
but put it down to the fact she hadn’t he had
and apart from that they’re a perfect match.

Back home she’ll have baked his favourite cake,
well not quite favourite.
                                 Favourite’s the king cake
he can only get on his choice of holiday
where for the locals it’s no problem to make,
but she can’t work out the recipe
over there they call it ‘Bolo Rei.’

Sally Clark

If you have any comments on this poem,  Sally Clark would be pleased to hear them.

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