Boxing Day

by Julian Stannard

The dogs are going crazy.
I think Mother slipped them
some amphetamines.

A truly enormous ham
is being cooked

and the dogs are becoming idiotic and psychotic.

My ex-wife is late which is good
and not so good. Mother pulsates.

Welcome, ex-wife, have some ham.
I watch Mother slicing slicing slicing.
Two pieces of ham for ex-wife,
and three pieces of ham for me.

O Bethlehem!

                        O Bethlehem!

In England we eat boiled ham, Mother says.
Do you like boiled ham? Mother asks ex-wife.
Ex-wife says, I have been to West Ham,
I may have taken the wrong line.

After the enormous ham
Mother shouts, Pudding!
and off she walks to the special shed.

I am left with ex-wife.  
Shall we dance? No.

Water has flowed under the bridge,
says ex-wife. Not enough, I’m thinking.

Flee whilst you can, ex-wife! Flee!

Mother’s walking back to the house,
the dogs have conked out
in some post-amphetamine afternoon lockdown.

Mother appears with a trifle.
An enormous trifle.
In England, Mother says, we eat trifle.