Section 2 ~ Issue 22cThomas McCarthy
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THOMAS MCCARTHY                                            

Agapanthus

IE  

I 221 can’t say that the day smiled on us, or that anything smiled,

As we dared the wet earth in our wet digging clothes.

The late Mrs. Cockburn was in no mood to chat. It was she,

After all, who was being evicted by a cruel remote-control:

A letter sent from Toronto that saw the summer spoilt.

She had just published a good book, her autobiography

That kept her friends straight and her enemies crooked,

But as if the world needed to show a woman of quality

What indifference meant, or how landlords could still be shit,

The letter was not an offer for film rights but a notice to quit.

We approached the bed of agapanthi in a deathly quiet.

What I thought was umbellatus and a big mistake

For the small place where she was headed was, as a matter

Of fact and not any other kind of insufferable organic fact,

A huge clump of the smaller orientalis, sometimes called

Agapanthus mooreanus, and perfect, as I should have

Known. I knew that Mrs. Consuela White was up in Lismore

And would soon be on the phone to me. Mrs. Cockburn

Also knew that, though they were old friends, Mrs White’s chilling

Remarks, her wicked shaudenfreude, could kill African lilies.

 
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