The Prime Minister's Visit

 

The Prime Minister's Visit

  

     The Prime Minister to see you Sir.

Does the Prime Minister play bridge?

     Oh, not here Sir –

     In Iceland I think.

Is that a floor cat slipping or a tap dripping?

     Our Prime Minister collects clocks –

     Antique ones at that.

Ah, what could be more fitting than a floor cat slipping.

Or was it – a phone ringing?

     It's the Prime Minister at the door Sir –

     And he's carrying a box.

Are you sure it's not just the floor cat slipping –

Or a newspaper clipping?

     Perhaps he plays tennis –

     It's all the rage in America, you know.

Was that the floor cat slipping –

Or was I dreaming?

  

Commentary
This poem is reminiscent of a gentler era when tennis was just taking off in America and telephones were as rare then as floor cats are today. In a time less rushed, you might expect a visit from the Prime Minister. Some things, however, have remained the same – our Prime Minister does collect antique clocks and in Iceland the Prime Minister still drops in for a friendly game of bridge. The image of the floor cat was taken from one of e.e. cummings' poems. I like the idea of him (the cat, not mr. cummings) slipping in and out, between the lines of the poem. (3-5-1995)

 


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