Along with Gillray or maybe Hogarth,
we like rude cartoons of old kings;
overweight, overbearing and bewigged,
breeches bursting, waistcoats straining at buttons
at table, grasping forks thrust
into grotesquely large mouthfuls of whole chicken.
Thus has our Royal Family delighted us
and so it was today as I sat beside
a girl bearing a willow branch or some such.
Behind me a conversation struck up
in praise of books yet denigrating kindles.
Someone spoke of her favourite detective stories,
“Its a pity when you do know,
half way through who done it,” she paused
“but you have to keep onto the end in case
-you haven’t got it right.”
“I like turning the pages,”
replied he who disparaged modern technology.
“Did you see that programme last night?”
“The Windsors”, “The Palace” or some such
“What he got up to – the ageing Duke
and that other one, the Princess-
No!” and he named her Aunt instead
I began to imagine islands, sun-tanned cougars
He continued in a sadder tone,
“Yes, she couldn’t be with the one
she wanted to be with…” and went on
plaintively and regretfully describing the Royal lady’s lifestyle
and jazzed up episodes and finished somewhat mournfully,
“One or two people got hurt in the meantime, didn’t they?”
And the bus stopped and I got out and walked away pensively.