Writings and Witterings

Mrs Smithfield Returns


Mrs Smithfield writes an ode
and, like a spy,
quietly slips
the blue lined pages
to me.

Her soft brown cardigan
– mohair –
sheds tiny pearlescent stud buttons.
A rural week amongst cruddy cows
and stupid sheep in summer sun,
hot on fields of hay,
yet cool, beautifully cool, gloriously cool
in shadowed woods.

Around a spitting campfire
crackling on parents’ night,
we sing Kumbayah to bemused
faces feasting on fish cakes with bread
and butter, swilling
mugs of hot sweet tea.
Jen and I made five hundred fish cakes:

‘Ridiculous,’ mother says.
‘How fantastic!’ says Mrs Smithfield.

Girls in dirndl skirts as Heidi,
or Cinderella
– a fancy dress competition –
others as two halves of a horse
made of chequered blankets
– no pearl buttons –
Jen and I win as chimney sweep
and chimney.

Mrs Smithfield quietly slips
the blue lined pages
with a faint crackle
and an apologetic air,
to me.

Polly Stretton © 2014

Chimney sweep and chimney with cat Acknowledgement to www.dreamstime.com

Chimney Sweep and Chimney with Cat.
Acknowledgement to http://www.dreamstime.com


15 thoughts on “Mrs Smithfield Returns

  1. Polly, I love how you pick us up and drop us or set us down in the heart of the poem to wander about discovering its secrets! Wonderful! x


  2. This is like a story Polly. I could get quite settled down to read more! I think I like Mrs Smithfield 😊 x


  3. This is lovely. Thanks. k.


  4. Would love to meet Mrs. Smithfield


  5. Your character description is fantastic! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember singing Kumbayah around a camp fire, though, of course, as an introvert, I always felt out of place. Maybe I needed a Mrs Smithfield. 🙂


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