Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


by Robert Nisbet

The bomb went off in the barracks
just after noon. She was desperate, hunting news,
ringing, ringing, holding on. Set off for home
(it was nearer the barracks anyway)
and at Cardiff Gate the evening papers
told of the bomb, people at the tables talked of it,
but the bomb was lost between a bent politician
and a singer’s pretty boobs, and she rang
and rang again, to the last coin, drove on,
fifty miles again, to a nearly-empty Pont Abraham
where the waitress was suddenly kind
and she poured it all out, just as suddenly,
My son is there, and the girl cried with her
(what sort of emotional girl was that?) and said
You can ring from here, out the back, they won’t know,

and her son was safe and she could only sob,
helplessly, in a caretaker’s room,
with the brushes and the buckets and the bleach,
because her son was safe and there was somebody too
who had helped her, with her arm round her,
to pull out of a racing current,
fetch up on a safe, dry bank.

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