The new lady was formidable:
Scottish, she straddled
the conversation at our
familiar dinner table
as she would mount a feisty mare
for an afternoon canter;
and she was sitting next to me.
In the midst of the dinner
her daughter phoned from Jamaica:
her isolated home had been broken into;
one servant dead, another brutally beaten;
her daughter was shaken but safe.
I had been summoning
some amusing anecdotes
from past summers
stumbling over the bonfire