Fete

Written by: Andrew John

Into the lane –
come wind, impetuous rain.
Trees are now a threat,
gesturing wildly, angry,
promising to snap,
eager to pounce,
to crush in an embrace
of leaf and crusty bark.

The village fête, though,
is like the show:
it must go on,
it must go on.
It’s fixed in time,
it’s preordained.

Brave souls
staff the stalls and serve,
to raise the funds
to fix the roof.

Spattered souls – pulling
their cardigans closed, tugging
their knitted hats further down their heads –
bravely measure out the day
in collected coinage
dropped into biscuit tins:
the target must be reached.

Cricket’s off – rain stopped play;
back to the crease another day.
But the ladies of the Guild
fête the thinning punters
with bric-a-brac and homemades,
with orange juice and lemonade.

It’s a parallel world –
the other one’s not here today.
This is all there is.
For this day only,
this is our fête.