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Madame Fi Fi's Farewell


          "Madame Fi Fi regrets to announce due to lack

            of public demand she will shut her doors on Saturday."



Rattle down the shutters, cast away the key,

Relinquish the rivers at last to the sea,

    Old Jock of Lochranza,

    Taut as a stanza,

Can come no more for me.


My eager sole visitor was planted this week,

Six decades beyond his potency's peak;

    He was the salty, last

    Proof of my glorious past;

From here, the sea looks bleak.


It's out with the pension, no more red heels

To clack down the pier among wet nets and creels;

    I can't turn a head

    (When they are all dead)

From the sea's late purples and steels.


Hang up my whip, my scents, the tools of my trade,

That kept the fish-scaled men unstaid;

    From the tedium of wintered lives,

    Beyond the scowls of island wives,

Released them, glad-afraid.


Young men of Lamlash, Blackwaterfoot, Corrie,

Be you built like a rabbit, a shark, or a lorry,

    It's off with this make-up

    That let your dads wake up,

And I am sorry.


Gerry Cambridge



From Madame Fi Fi's Farewell: And Other Poems,
Luath Press Ltd., Edinburgh, Scotland © 2003.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

by Grapholina

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