Newtons: First Battle Stations
A handful of possible
A handful of…reasonable
Of fair, say…
Ways you could explain
Had done for the Newtons
Baffled round the dire smell, hinting, not insisting…
Possible, reasonable, fair…why, then, likelihood?
(But just perhaps…and coming down to it…) a sort of cotton-wool
Like if it was in a poem, it might be
Said…neither mister nor missus ever been
But cautious-minded folk, quiet-living…married very young
At war’s end, Adamson, buying up property went
And left her Lem his man-in-charge
Nell Newton to herself don’t mind
The saying of a plain thing…Lem’s uncle is an awful tartar
Lem’s uncle goes and puts the rents up
Says it’s hard times, says let them try
They bloody well won’t, doing better
But they might…
Just this past spring, and just to show…
If Adamson, beside himself, should force the door
(…show no want of willingness to do a Newton’s part)
There was, across the way, that suicide
And wasn’t it Lem ran to fetch the corner bobby?
The sight of it, on the flocking, and the damask…
And wasn’t it Nell sat with old Mrs. Combles…?
And wasn’t it Adamson himself
Said, a month ago, “See to those mousetraps, Nelly! What a fug!
Tell me you can’t keep a lodger in that room upstairs…!”
She’d felt giddy, mice
Mice, Lem, she’d said to him, suppose it only is?
Later, they’d allowed it might be sausage
And sauerkraut and such…who knew?
With them foreign types?
Yes…there’d been another trouble
Krug’s window could be seen to crawl with flies
(2019, Stephanie Foster)