Gypsy Rose

by Hurl Ague

The Tudor brickwork lines of the old pub
gave cultured comfort like a sonnet, then
hard syllables of gypsy travellers — rubbed
in, up wrong, dirt lined, living men —
stood three days vigil while their matriarch
was lying on a sickbed somewhere near.

To say the shadows of their looks were dark
would be the understatement of the year;
to say the raucous joy when good news came
laughed like the bluejay on a summer’s day
speaks not as rough as them, but all the same,
if humour’s dark or light, then who should say?

Now you tell me the colour of the mood
they brought next day when news was not so good.


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