Four battered wheelchairs standing in a row,
all facing westward, nowhere to go,
four bent figures, “Poor old so and sos,”
a carer whispers in your ear, “They were famous once you know.”
Sir Julian, tired diplomat, sucking on his thumb,
picking at his nose, scratching his bum,
eyes staring out to sea, mind half numb,
wondering to himself, “When will the others come?”
Medals tinkling gently, mad Major Dick
beats at the world with a walking stick,
beard and cardie thick with streams of sick,
curses and roars, gives the world another kick,
Gentle, loving, sweet sister Anne
searches in her mind for an old, copper pan.
She’ll fill it with ripe berries, as soon as she can
remember mother’s recipe for confused fruit jam.
Mistress George, still fire in one eye,
glares at her reflection asks what, when, why
am I sitting here and who the fuck am I?
Rages at the setting sun and the vanishing sky.
Do you remember as a child the overwhelming thrill,
watching them drive a caravan to the top of the hill.
They could go where they wanted, do what they willed.
Look at them now. It’s in there somewhere still.
Timmy died happy, mad as a hatter,
chasing rabbits in a field, didn’t see sheep scatter,
never felt the shotgun pellets mercifully shatter
the last of our heroes into darkest matter.