Too Much Holiday Reading

Without friends in low-doored cottages

Beside the lichened walls of churches,


Or wild associates in country piles

With rotting sash windows,

A sitting room just for the cats

And drifts of broken-hearted furniture,


Or cousins who throw chaotic parties

In that fine old barn beside the lake

Where random guests rampage all summer night

And strip off intermittently for bathing,


And having no open-minded aunts

With famously hacked-about hair

In tiny little panelled flats

Just round the corner from this or that,


I wonder nonetheless –

Were some of the above unearthed not far from here –

If they might balk at the breath of my semi-detached,

Its plastic double glazing and grey pebble dash,

And their involuntary distaste give birth

To an insurmountable awkwardness

Causing more trouble than it was worth.