Battered, ancient, travel-weary, smelly - -
she’d been right to throw it out!
Who’d have thought he’d make this fuss!
The word ‘divorce’ is in the air
though neither cares to say it first;
maybe it’s hanging fire, like malaria
in the blood. Of course this wretched hat
was part of the mystique, the lustre
of the Raj, his District Officer days,
Britain’s finest hour. All that stuff
they should have left in Jaipur.
So has it all come down to this, to Cheam?
He blinks back tears, unwilling
to allow her further fuel. Surely
to goodness, after all these years,
she’d comprehend the special meaning
of that hat! The marvelous journeys
it had made; the dangers shared;
the times that it had been brim-full
of water from his own canteen
so that his horse could drink its fill
beside some dried-up stream in Rajasthan.