When Worzel visited here in Wales, Godfrey’s aged Ma, refused to meet with her or to speak on the phone. Ma- short as she is wide, coal black hair now pure white, blue eyes that could still tool leather, she remains ever able to knit, chat, gripe, watch the telly and read a scandal magazine all at the same time. She and her Arthur have left outer Batley for a cottage with Godfrey’s sister Alice- Prankster of Skibereen, Ma has become part of the village scene…

    Ever cranky Ma, on a sunny day will usually be sitting on the cottage porch, intent on her knitting, or feigning  absorption in a book…but Ma misses little, she is always on the outlook for anyone she sees misbehaving. For any scrap of naughtiness, or news she can glean. Ma is now part of the village scene.

Godfrey’s step-dad, Arthur, sits to. Memories of being a lad in the war far behind him, in his 90’s now, Arthur is at peace, adrift in dream. They chuckle at an old joke, heads together, and an odd little town is Skibereen.  It is a village with two pranksters!, sister Alice and the nefarious Janice Kraime,  garden gnome missing? coin-box pilfered at the Launderette?, Outhouse shipped south on a train? Who to blame?  Two middle aged women , loose in Skibereen, though neither knew the other, only Ma knew that Alice knew what she did or did not do. “Obnoxious since birth Ma reported if asked, but never deliberately  destructive or mean”. Drive by and bet she will be out and about, Ma sees all as part of the village scene.

Knitting on the porch morning time when weathers fair, wheel Arthur twice round the park afternoons in his chair. Chat at the corner shop, pint at the pub, sweets from the bakery, home before Alice with fish and chips for tea.    Ma will talk to anyone, talk of anything but Godfrey.

Ma sees all, as part of the village scene, knows old Miss Commerford (She spits when she talks) stops out Tuesdays with young Dr Feodor. Knows the real reason Blanche Pudde-Combe left home. Knows the crumb cake at the bakery is made with sweepings off the floor, dos not buy her fish on Mondays anymore. Keeps an eye on the hard drinking ways, of reckless Janice Kraime. Tells Alice, “Do shut-up daughter, retirement from parenting has not changed me, and my sense of whimsy comes under strain frequently”. Ma berating the post-man for the rubbish in her mail, hollering at passers by, yelling at stray cats to no avail.   Heard far and wide by all who dwell in lovely Skibereen, love her or not Ma is now part, of the village scene.


4 thoughts on “PART OF THE VILLAGE SCENE- By Beatrice.

  1. Poor Ma, in her mind, everyone and everything is the cause of her unhappiness. Prankster Alice and cranky Ma are, most likely, also closely watched by the village!

  2. This poem sings with rhyme, rhythm, humor and clever phrases; the snippet that caught me most this time was in the introduction: “blue eyes that could still tool leather.” Sheila, that is the ultimate in description, worthy of a Pulitzer all by itself. I would have labored long and hard to come up with it, while you are able to fill your writing with such amazing tidbits. And, of course, I loved Ma. Why doesn’t she ever talk about Godfrey?

  3. Thanks Janet, I was terrified of Sarah, the elder Scottish nurse at Greenham, until we were stuck on our own one snowy day, we bonded, she had those blue eyes that missed nothing. My mind is a morass of thoughts that often distract me at work, thus I order the wrong Mayonaise…Ma will probably never speak of Godfrey, beyond “Ma’s Story” pried out of her by Beatrice, long term trust issues, and feeling no one would believe that she produced Godfrey, we shall find out if she thaws.

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