Annette Barnes

Almost and Caught Out
April 24, 2024 Barnes Annette


Cows and sheep segregate themselves
like children in a lunchroom,


afternoon drunks outside the pub seem
menacing until the police have a word,


the delivery man leaves a bottle of wine,
a good will gesture, and fifty one days


before the Queen would have marked
her birthday with a card Betty dies.


The brace of rabbits her father posted
weekly from the country to London


during the war, meant for the children,
always arrived.  Write down what you


remember I’d often say, her mind out-
performing her body, but she never did.


Her eyes went first, then hearing,
then balance but dying took its time.




Stopper left in the decanter,
port spilling onto the white


tablecloth, she contains
the wine as best she can


with her napkin. No one
appears to notice. When


the decanter comes round
a second time,  she asks


her neighbour to pour.
And into the right glass


a man at the other end
of the table calls out.

Annette Barnes is the author of a book of poems, Next In Line (Pinyon Press, 2017).