Out in the Rain at Midnight
There was an August rain that evening,
when I escaped the heat and groan of it,
the family council neighbour party thing,
shooting its targets down with sprays
of relish: the hippies, unions, Socialists,
the England cricketers, the immigrants,
the lurking saboteurs of them and theirs.
Then, dolloped now with sentiment,
came one’s Old Lady, one’s Princess.
I fled for relief, day into night time now,
the quiet hearths, the undemanding rain.
These terraces, those cottages, dating back
to Albert and Victoria, had surely had
their share of bigots, sentimentalists
a century ago. But just a decade back
and I think of Mrs. Ossie Thomas telling me
how Ossie, when alive, just had to hear
a Save the Children ad, and he’d be there
with a quid, a fiver, soft bugger that he was.
And the Harrisons’ Down’s Syndrome boy,
fetching his neighbours’ papers, day on day,
praised and pleased and placidly regarded.
Midnight, a ripple of warm rain.
Copyright © Robert Nisbet 2018
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who does not see himself as unduly competitive, but who has recently won the Prole Pamphlet Competition with Robeson, Fitzgerald and Other Heroes, available from www.prolebooks.co.uk