Across the lawn, sun shines on silver heads.
Glasses are filled.
Some of them are not sure why they’re here.
Wives shepherd their sheep across
The grass to greet old friends from long ago.
‘There’s what’s his name. He’s looking very old.’
They’ve all cleaned brushes, wiped their hands.
Stood back, satisfied.
They view the studio. ‘Couldn’t work in there.’
‘Too bright, I like my old room at the back.’
His wife smiles tenderly at him.
He hasn’t painted now for seven years.
She’s glad. He is much nicer to her now.
‘Who’s that in the fancy waistcoat? Can’t pin him down.’
‘That’s Bill,’ she says. ‘You know him very well.’
And so did I, she thought, but does not say.
It’s time to go, they’re tired, and the sun is low.
Goodbyes are said.
They will not meet again.
The cars negotiate the lane, and drive away.
The host goes over, locks the studio door,
Walks slowly down the path towards the house.
He needs a drink. He will not paint today.