! Oh To Be In England...

[The names and some of the details of this report have been changed to protect the identities of the persons involved - Ed.]

Yes I'm afraid so.
Mr Smith and Mrs Jones from down the road.
Five years now.
It's Mr Jones I feel sorry for.
Though from what I hear...
But it's Mrs Smith who really miffs me.
We're supposed to be friends, I thought.
Not a word, not a hint, these five years.
I really feel - betrayed.
Of course the men and the women here have a different take on this.
Well you'd expect it, considering.
(My Jack laughed like a drain when he read the details.
Went out early to buy the News of the Screws he calls it.)
I think the bastard's envious.
Not a word, not a hint.
Even the vicar's wife didn't know.
At least Catholics have confession.
Though of course their parish priests don't have wives...

I'm a historian. Was. The village well,
the parish pump, market day, after church, coffee mornings...
'Social cohesion in rural communities'.
I B.A.- ed on it.
Say what you like,
gossip keeps a community together.
Five years.
No, I'm not going round to see her.

I feel - betrayed...

by Michael Shepherd

Comments (4)

And furthermore - that opening 'Of course' takes the prize, amongst a very long short list, for Herbicidal sneers...
My dictionary - Oxford natch, it must have reached your penisal, sorry penal, colony by now - gives gossiping with no variant. As at the cafe table.Your own spelling isn't perfect, may I mention. Sometimes you overdo the p, as many of us do at our age. So is 'awe' a misspelling for 'aw' as in 'Aw shurrup'?
Of course you have a gift. Would I be in awe if that weren't the case? This 'story-poem' (perhaps should be called prose-poem, proem or PP) places me on a bench in front of the modest house of Monsieur Cazin, right across from the Boulangerie, where we all sit in the Northern sun, sipping beaujolais superieur while gossiping the time away.Might need another p in gossiping, can be taken from dropppp. I think Heck is correct. H
I love story poems! Nice, Michael. Have you written short stories? If so, I would love to read some of them. You have a gift. Hugs, CJ