Interned (draft)

April 4, 2008

My parents are interned
on a cruise ship at Madeira –
I heard it on the radio,
sitting on the sofa:

“You’re parents are interned
in their cruise ship at Maderia –
they won’t be coming home
as prearranged to meet you”

and it’s just the sort of thing
that I’d expect to happen.
My parents with their tans,
Bermuda shorts and glasses –

my father saying “Margaret!
We never should have come here”
my mother saying “Paul!
Perhaps we should call Watchdog –

But I can see my mother
loving every minute,
so I’m almost sorry later,
when my father texts the message:

The embargo has been lifted
the ship is raising anchor
they’re leaving from the habour
They should be back by Sunday.

My parent’s were interned
on a cruise ship at Madeira –
but all tonight’s a party
and all the drinks are gratis.

My parents type out screens
of happy reassurance –
their sea legs are quite solid
and their souvenirs are lovely.

But I worry for their epic
of Odyssey adventure,
I worry for the bungalow
waiting back in Leicester.

I worry how they’ll cope
without the smell of sunlight –
the salty spray on linen
the boardwalks and the deck-chairs.

I worry now the sun
is setting on Madeira
and now the ship is edging
close across the water –

I worry like they’re zebras
returning from adventures –
Noah’s distant cargo
coming back to rest up –

How they’ll find their home.

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