After, in the House of Windsor

Philip walks beside, not
behind.  Actually, they
run, death having undone
decrepitude as well
as investiture.

Fleet horses canter Elysian
meadows, where no fox or
stag stays dead. Obstinately
happy corgis circle on stubby

legs, barking against the
faintest memory
of mortality,

of which they, too,
have had quite enough.

Bertie still smokes like wildfire,
the crown of one cigarette
torching the next.  Yet his lungs
stay pink,  pliable as petals.
He never stammers.

The elder Elizabeth sips Dubonnet
and gin in equal portions, stronger
than the younger prefers.  The
cocktail of Queen Consort,
Queen Mother, long widowhood.

They consider Margaret —
here, the second child matters
no less than the first —

proclaim her
Queen for a day,
Queen for ever,
Queen for however long
it takes to apprehend
the weight of the crown

that settled on her
sister’s head.

Only each other now.
Horses and corgis;
Benson & Hedges.
Dry gin and sweet Dubonnet —
herbs, spice, a hint of quinine —
swirled and chilled.

A slice of lemon.

No one is watching.

Raising a glass of Dubonnet and gin in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, gone now a scant four months, and her father King George VI (“Bertie” to family and close friends), a beloved wartime leader who,  like his daughter, was thrust into a role he would not have chosen.  When scarcely more than a girl, Elizabeth  pledged a lifetime of service to her people, and — in a rare demonstration of fidelity and integrity — kept that promise until the day she died, 75 years later. 




  1. Cheers. I do believe Elizabeth is mortified by what is continuing to play out – and getting worse – in the public eye.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope not. I like to imagine her enjoying an afterlife with all the pleasures and privacy circumstances denied her when embodied.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Obstinately happy corgis,” ha. You really captured a time, place, and unusual lives here. Cheers (with gin and Dubonnet)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll make you one sometime. Delicious!


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