Beverley Bie Brahic

Three Poems

Movie Night at Sunrise Manor

‘Island at War, Part II’ tonight,
though, if she saw Part I, Mum’s forgotten.
It feels like yesterday, their War.
On walkers and canes they press
from pudding to the Social Room,
Please Don’t Disturb the Jigsaw Puzzle,
and some of them are English, girls
who wed Canadian soldiers and
washed up in this far-west beach town’s
Sunrise Manor, Tudor-themed,
Offering a Slate of Lifestyle Options
So Nice To Come Home To.
Mrs P. is late again. A flirt the other
ladies snub, she stumbles in the dark
looking for a seat
as the enemy invades a Channel Isle,
French sex workers are boated in.
The bike of the wife of the local bailiff
has a flat; a German officer stops,
offers to help repair it. In another world
they might be friends,
he’s a decent man, she’s hiding someone.

Jump to the party scene. Most local girls
will go, it’s awfully dull with all
their brothers gone and the soldiers
are quite handsome in their uniforms
and only following orders.
Decking the village hall they sing
the songs her mother used to sing
along with the radio, ironing
the wrinkles out of our clothes.
Now Mum is baffled by the plot—
why are things so muddled up?
Resistance? She wrote the script.
Get me out of here, she barks,
At Sunrise It’s All About Choices.
She struggles to stand, as the other roses
fading from the chintz sofa,
fire off a disapproving shush.

Reader, forgive their commotion.
What good is Patience in the end,
Transportation for Outings and Appointments,
A Pond With Carp and Water Lilies?
They cannot pause, rewind, replay—
television is a novelty
they rented for the Coronation.



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