Her Favourite Line
She’s always had great difficulty relating to people.
(She refers to them as ‘Humans’.) She found social
Especially the legendary Islington dinner parties
More than awkward; more like hellish in fact.
Some occasions were worse than others; I always knew
Things were going badly for her if she started talking too
Whilst desperately gulping down far too much red wine
And that the situation had really nose-dived if she started
T S Eliot’s The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock:
‘My favourite line of poetry’ she would insist to
‘I should have been a pair of ragged claws…’
It never made her any more sympathetic and I sensed
It was time to leave, even though the pudding might be still to
And I was also aware that it could well be a difficult night
She could wake in the early hours, still drunk, with a migraine,
Start vomiting — or worse — I might have to sit her on
Clutching a red plastic bucket while she vented copiously from
‘I never want to see anybody ever again!’ she would
But she has been a lot better since we moved out to Orpington
We don’t see anybody now. (Sometimes it’s good
to go all secret and just dislike everybody)
She loves going for long apparently aimless tramps on her own
Together with her five dogs right up onto the North Downs,
Trudging along in an old parka through the sudden cold rains
If ‘Humans’ approach the galloping playful Airedale
she’ll rap out
The ruthless command ‘Leave it, Darius! You don’t know where
It’s become her favourite line.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Peter Hamilton
would be pleased to hear them.