You knew for a fact, they’d never
allow a pair of mad eyes with a pistol
near the Emperor and his wife;
and when they did, knew
the war would be done
before the Christmas tree went up
in Chichester town square;
and when it wasn’t, that the Germans
must be forced to pick up the bill,
so they never did this again.
You knew for a fact, the Tsar
had a special place in the Russian peasant’s heart;
and when he hadn’t that the Bolsheviks
wouldn’t last five minutes.
And when they did, they were what
you’d been praying for all along.
Hitler was a joke with an Austrian accent
who’s never amount to anything,
and when he did, you knew for a fact
he had no interest in Warsaw, Kiev, Coventry.
You knew when the turbulence
had done its worst, the Shah
would still be sat on his Peacock throne,
looking taller than he actually was. Khomeni?
In five years’ time no one
would remember his name.
And that cowboy actor was never
going to win the White House.
The hijackers you envisaged
always landed the place
and let the passengers go.
This poem first appeared in Kevin Higgins’s 2014 collection The Ghost In The Lobby(Salmon Poetry).
To buy The Ghost In The Lobbyhttps://www.salmonpoetry.com/details.php?ID=323&a=108