On an Encounter in
Wimborne Minster Church

Uvedale memorial

Hes out of place; that hipster style just doesnt fit
beside these strict white arches that stalk along the nave.
And look at how his pose displays that dapper beard,
that trim moustache - then theres a smirk about his mouth,

as if hes trying not to show a frisson at her glance.
She knows that hes the sort of man she ought
to take against, although hes got a playful charm
that somehow draws her on. Hes hard to read

and there is a lot of tasty gossip: those years abroad
and the bother he had with that poet; his problems
with cash; the rich widow hed wed. She reckons
that hes no more than a chancer. Still, shes got

a fascination with the picaresque, with tall tales
of swashbuckle that lift her life out of its trudge
so its no surprise to find he piques her interest.
If hed make some space, shed sit with him and chat

but the candles are lit for evensong; boys voices
slide and loop between the arches. He hasnt budged
and now its time for her to go. Yet as she leaves,
she glances back, half-tempted to sit down on the tomb
that bears his name: Sir Edmund Uvedale, Knight.

Sharon Phillips

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Sharon Phillips   would be pleased to hear them.