Graeme Hetherington: ‘For Queen Elizabeth II’

For Queen Elizabeth II

With nothing beautiful in our
Cheerless home to engage my love
Except the warmly colourful

“Women’s Weekly” covers, you won,
As fairy-tale Princess, and then
As smiling Queen, my childhood heart

That my birth-mother’s coldness left
Empty for abstract joy to fill.
And now, the goose-pimpling beat of

Muffled drums timing the slow march
Of those attending your death, thrills
Me through and through, who nothing felt

At hers who gave life, the ranks
Swaying in perfect unison
As trees do in a gentle breeze,

As you, Elizabeth, still my
Outlet for all that’s best in me
Are farewelled world-wide on TV.

Graeme Hetherington




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