Distant Thunder

Late winter elbows past in wind and rain

while teenage waiters bearing lemonade

and shandy take away my mother’s pecked-at

Yorkshire pudding. Back behind the bar


Michael Jackson blames it on the boogie

in the beer-and-whiskey half-dark as we

escort her to the car, one at each elbow,

each sparrow elbow, as if making an arrest.


My sister will drive her home to kitchen kettle,

phone and new commode, her days behind

the wheel, she’s finally admitted, over.


I ask about the doctor. My usual plea.

God has moved his armchair over Tewkesbury.