Part two of CK Stead’s series of poems on Sunday
After six decades an overseas call from
Fred Foulds misses me. ‘No worries’ he tells Kay,
he’d ‘only wanted to know Stead wasn’t dead’.
Fred was our national chess champ whose Kodak caught
my younger self in Fair Isle smoking a pipe.
I could have told him that Jean and Les were dead,
and last month Barry, another of our group
Google tells me that Thelma our chestnut Scot
teacher of French (retired) has died in Portsmouth.
Back then I listened to her seventy-eights
of Stephen Spender poems and took her dancing
at the Civic Wintergarden Cabaret.
We were Travolta and Thurman, Torvill and Dean –
the ease, the grace that gives to music a body.
Thelma and I didn’t ‘make love’. We danced.
Next Sunday’s poem by CK Stead: “A sonnet for Peter Wells”