The Old Man
( after Vona Groarke )
Kate Ennals

The old man has gone and bought himself a rifle
because none of us visit anymore.
He claims he will use it to kill himself, or us.
He keeps it on the kitchen shelf
where mother used to keep the vintage tea set,
now disappeared.
Maybe he used it for target practice.

I don’t know if I should risk a visit.
His pot shots are rather good.
I worry about the dinner set
kept on the shelf above.
It is mother’s best white bone china.
I’d hate to see it blown to smithereens,
like my brother’s head last evening.