The Folly: Henry Calmacott (part two)
Henry Calmacott (part two)
She is a young woman still.
Of thirty years or thereabouts, I’d guess
And when I’d walked out with Bess, once
Met her down the Ram’s
Took her to the picture show
Right enough in the head, those days. Jealous though.
Now they say, these many years
Has let the place fall down around her ears
Got Mother’s back up straightaway
Opening her drawers
And when she’d found the clipping, read:
‘Unfortunate Death in Somerset’
Said to Mother, ‘I know a secret about that.
Mathilda never wrote that note.’
A murmuring voice, a woman’s
Fills this silence, Henry’s words
Seem repeated in another tongue
Her offices draw from the Celts
A peal of exclamation
And feeling sighs of wonderment
‘Michael Calmacott,’ she says, ‘tell on.’
‘Two things don’t coincide alone.
They might have found some traces of my bones
if they had sought to look. But why
should Mr. Atkins have thought it?
A trio of soldiers hare off from a nursing home
A man, that night, is stabbed outside the town
A motor car turns over on a curve
A girl breaks her neck
And fires light the hilltops
On Arthur’s farm the pigeoncote goes next’
(2017, Stephanie Foster)