THE OLD ORDER
I don’t remember how
the conversation got round to God,
but suddenly my father
was strumphing at the end of the table,
everyone else zip-lipped.
It was like the time I snorted
when he said the sun never set
on the British Empire.
He stood up. I beat a hasty retreat,
my handkerchief a white flag.
When his arguments fell on deaf ears
he often raised his hand if not his game.
But anyway, I see it now,
now he’s gone,
and the Empire’s gone, and God, even God,
what it must have been like for him,
raised in that fortress of certainties,
to see it breached by his own daughter,
dammit, his daughter,
telling him what was what.
Ann Alexander’ fourth collection of poetry,
Old Things, will be available soon from
Ward Wood. She recently moved to
Stratford upon Avon, hoping to be inspired
by a former resident.