"Now, Madge," I said, "you think about it, what
We've known about each other, forty years
Or more, must be. And in all that time
I've never been the one to poke my nose in
Have I? No. Just counsel when you needed
It. And never wrong, now was I? So when
I say you've had it, leave this place
And all its memories, well that is right.
And Tam's not coming back, not ever, Madge."

Of course I thought he might. Our Tam's a rogue
But oh, so charming, quite unscrupulous.
No doubt she'd have some nest-egg tucked away —
That's what he thought, I'm sure of it, for there
He was, as large as life, the first week of
Her move. Repulsive, wasn't it? Poor Madge,
She's always put upon. But not this time.
Oh no, she may have cried, gone on her knees,
But nothing came of it. I'd seen to that.

She'd bought the unit here. Had to. Madge
At first was very hesitant, but glad
To let me take her through it, decorate
The one small bedroom and the kitchen. All
You need, I told her. Should have been,
But like the goose she is she fluffed it, turned
Her back on other residents.  I ask you
Was that sensible? And worse: she even
Intimated that she wanted out.

No backbone really to her, little soul
She was. They get them like that sometimes, Warden
Says. They change, or go to pieces, or sit
For days in silence, solitary, can't be reached.
You would have thought the opportunity
Was something, wouldn't you, for making friends?
Like going back to school from summer hols?
But not for her. Just flipped and left it all —
We might have guessed — to Tam at last.


Now collected in a free ebook published by Ocaso Press.