After The Horses Bolted

After the horses bolted
they dragged the street tram
higgledy piggledy over its rails
uphill from the town centre.

After the horses bolted
the accountant was thrown from
the tram breaking his femur in
several places. He remained
bedridden for the rest of his life.

After the horses bolted
his eldest son, a new graduate
gave up his Rhodes Scholarship
at Oxford university.
The next son left local university.
Both worked to support the family.

After the horses bolted
his two older daughters cared
for their bedridden parents,
the youngest went out to work, then
all married solid business men soon
after their parents’ early deaths.

After the horses bolted
the accountant died a few years
later, then his wife. The youngest
son at sixteen was sent to live with
uncle in a faraway city, worked
as a warehouseman all his life.

After the horses bolted,
after the parents died the older
sons sailed far, one to Australia
one to India. The sisters stayed
scattered around town, firmly
contained in provident marriages.

After the horses bolted
the youngest brother lived out
his life in his new far off city.

Previously posted November 2016.

After The Horses Bolted

2 thoughts on “After The Horses Bolted

  1. I love this poem, the repetition and the clear way the consquences play out. Also the great phrases such as “firmly contained in provident marriages”.

    I’m assuming this is a family history –a version of “for want of a horseshoe nail”….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. Yes this is part of the history of Mum’s mother’s family. Two of the provident marriages, including Grandma’s, were very unhappy too, and there was no support except what the two sisters were occasionally able to give each other. Grandma was a very difficult person to know, and Mum and her brother grew up to be very difficult people too. Staggering how circumstances beyond the control of the people affected can change so much in families’ lives.


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