Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

These two, DOROTHY AND CLARICE DENCH - A pair of local spinster sisters, as I guess - Both died, two years apart, aged ninety-five.

Yet 'We are only here a little while' Is carved, with names and dates, into this bench:

A saying of theirs, perhaps, that raised a smile When each new birthday found them still alive, That friends recalled with wry tenderness?

Did they walk their dogs here every day Then stop at 'their' bench and sit gratefully, Half-hearing distant cries (Howzat? or Play! ), Half-watching men in whites move on the green As 'Flush' and 'Bingo' barked at long leg-drives That rolled, to dry applause, towards the screen?

Unhusbanded, the days turned into lives That went on for almost a century - Wars and revolutions came and went;

Shop windows in the high street showed strange goods While brands grew less and less familiar;

Children from the new-built neighbourhoods Wore different clothes, played different games. …

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