Unfortunate Death: Eighth Calmacott
‘Good you’re home in time, Arthur. You’ll have a guest for lunch.’
I heard a smile in her voice…she would not have smiled
Knowing I was home. I could hear their talk, although the
Door was closed. Stewart had followed on my heels, fretting.
‘Goddamn you!’ He’d near trod on me. And he was carrying
it. That rage I’d felt was for Stewart.
When I’d snatched the hayfork from his hand.
Yes, I’d only gasped a little. I’d been careful of the blood.
The poor young man. I’d only knelt beside him where he fell.
I do recall I cried. I do recall I moaned and couldn’t stop.
I can’t think I’d been making such a noise.
Oh, Arthur, you were cold.
I was not. Myself. You see, Calmacott, how she—
Bessie…had that reckless prodding habit
An amoral will to be, at this moment
At this moment
Miring in excitement
—how she taunted. Though of course
The note was in her own hand.
‘Yes, if Bess,’ Henry says, ‘had been born a boy
By fifteen, she’d have gone into the navy. Been a nob
She’d have ridden to the hounds. Dash, is what
They call it. There, you have circumstance, as well.’
And what if I had had a little room, a bed
Some Chelsea street where rents are not too dear
And the Mrs. in my name might be enough
For a decent place, serving at a tea room
I know you couldn’t often come across
But I’d have welcomed you, visiting, and if you’d asked
Can you forgive me…Mathilda
I would say, Arthur I do
(2017, Stephanie Foster)