A MEETING WITH THE PRINCESS
Just a family get-together in a terrace house in Bradford
High tea with a few stuffy aunts I hadn’t seen for years
Their husbands in tow like lost dogs sniffing round for food
But she came all the same, ushered in politely as a friend
Of a friend or somebody’s cousin twice removed though
Everybody was a bit put out at first except me so I got
Sat down next to her and started to chat but people would
Keep chipping in, especially the young men, definitely upper-class
Gate-crashers who kept scowling at her and she kept snapping
Back at them and I said, "There seems to be a problem to do
With suppressed anger, I feel" and even my own son, somewhat
Unrelaxed but a genuine Old Etonian nonetheless, looked a bit
Embarrassed at the kerfuffle, but he kept standing by me wearing
His tails and perhaps it was this that finally sent the young
Men on their way and I managed to get her out for a breath
Of fresh air in the street and eventually we found our way to
Nobody seemed to notice who she was or perhaps they
Were too polite to say or they thought she was another Diana
Lookalike anyway we had some peace at last and forgetting
Protocol I put my arm round her and said, "You’re just ordinary.
Like everyone, even the Emperor of China, that’s the secret of life.
If there is one" and she started to cry softly and still nobody
Noticed and then the people and the park and even Bradford itself
Melted away in her tears.
by Barry Tebb
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