So inconsiderate of them, and such
inconvenience, so little tea.
At best one afternoon a week.
One would think, would one not
that for us at least they could find some way…
They said the last ship from the east
went down, all hands. Dare we trust
the news? With all their vaunted technology
why can’t they avoid those submarines?
And these biscuits! Hardly worth the name.
I do so miss the marmalade cook made
But even she can’t manage without oranges–
not to mention sugar. Oh, my sweet tooth, hush!
Are any oranges left in the world, I wonder?
Really, these artificial sugars make me ill.
And the coffee, absolutely barbarous.
No wonder those Americans take it all.
Perhaps she should be let go,
having so little to do and with so little to do with.
But as you know I am totally useless
in the kitchen and Reginald I doubt
has ever set foot in it. Poor man,
how he misses his evening pipe.
But they have their cigaretes, I’m sure.
No, she manages to come up with something,
when really there’s so little to come up with.
There I go with my terminal prepositions.
Should be little with which to come up. Right?
Proper tea would be so nice, with real milk
and edible biscuits in the gazebo’s shade.
Overgrown a bit, I’m afraid, what with gardeners
as scarce as oranges. Where have they got to,
do you suppose? The capable always seemed
so old. Surely at their age not at the front.
What use there their shovels and secateurs?
What do those common soldiers drink, do you think?
Still there, I suppose. Whisky, I don’t doubt!
Can you imagine them stopping their war
for a spot in the afternoon? And where
would they get it when we have next to none?
I do miss it so, don’t you?
Oh, dear! There’s a spot on your blouse.
Here, let me help. How dreadful!
Such a lovely thing to ruin,
and no way to replace it. Our better shops
these days are virtually empty.
Please, Grace, don’t bother. My Millie
will get it out. She’s plenty of time,
you know, now that her Charlie
and her sons are gone.
by Jim Turner – Lodi, CA