We prayed together once,
in our own separate way,
in a tiny Church on the side of a steep hill
in those highlands you held captive in august.
Days earlier
I’d found your local 7 eleven
while your wife road a horse
into a fog that seemed to part just for Her.
There was a can
of Batchelor’s baked beans
on the bare shelf and some hobnobs-
late night parties at Balmoral must have been wild.
I’d worn a tie
into the church as if that would stop the suspicion
of my southern birth and ignorance of hymns
that never felt in reach
of any single recognisable note.
You and your palace posse shuffled in
after the priest that you called Reverend,
the head always coming last
unlike the ass on the body.
Later, in the getaway,
the muddy wheels of your Land Rover
almost ran over the tips of my polished toes
bringing me face to face with your Majesty
with her famed restrained wave.
I smiled
while she looked uncomfortable
as you nodded minimally
before turning to splash the spectators
on the way down the hill
as cameras flashed
and there were nudges as to who we were.
But we were no ones,
attending Church with all our differing ties
and you, who I felt was always interested
in being somewhere else.
It can feel like that where you’re a foreigner.
I hope you like where you are now.
It was nice to meet you, once.

6 thoughts on “Foreigners

      1. Jane Dougherty

        I was brought up with the idea that all of we poor sinners spent half eternity in Purgatory waiting on prayers and remission for good behaviour. Why should Phil go straight to the jackpot? What did he do with his privileged life that gets him out of jail quicker than the rest of us?

      2. Jane Dougherty

        The Catholic Church has no equal for instilling guilt, shame and submission. If you expect the worst, you can only be pleasantly surprised—a miracle!

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