Nothing’s too much trouble for our stellar host –
he bellows loud hellos from his front door
before our car-bound feet disrupt his gravel.
Call-me-Toby ushers us to his spongey lemon couch
for a slice of just-baked drizzling lemon sponge cake.
He plunges into freshly brewed fairly-traded coffee,
pours into bone-china, places onto Badger’s Bottom
B&B logoed coasters ─ smooth moving in Oxford-blue chinos.
Beaming, he returns enthused from a baggage carry
past the rows of rosettes and constellations in his hall,
to point out the silver optics of his honesty bar, pen poised.
He plumps bum-dented tasseled tapestry, clears cups, as
the whites of his teeth promise dawn’s Aga-griddled
home-bred hens’ eggs, free-range sausages, bacon too,
herb-tossed mushrooms, grilled English toms (never tinned).
Garden-hived honey biscuits crumble by a gleaming kettle,
wrapped dark chocs settle on puffed-up Egyptian duck down
pillows; a call from below ‘If off early, do let me de-ice you.’
This luxury extends to the tile-hot his ‘n’ hers en-suite ─
tea-tree infused wipes, handmade peach soaps by AnnMarie,
whilst nostril-numbing citrus wick drifts like a charm.
Next morning, rainfall shower-drenched, steam-blind, I reach
for the fluff of white warmed by the ladder-rack – and there he is,
towel held wide as Cassiopeia, ready to enwrap his guest.
Jill Munro will shortly have her first collection Man from La Paz published by Green Bottle Press, London. She has been published in several magazines and had two poems long-listed in the latest National Poetry Competition. She lives and works in Crowborough, near the Ashdown Forest.
This poem was written on Jonathan Edwards’ ‘No Laughs Please, We’re Poets – Can comic poetry be good poetry?’ course in response to an exercise on close observation of a scene.