the weekly

ER Indoors

Eighty years (well, seventy –
since that's when an abdication crisis
shook you from your family tree,
donating you to our devices)
since you were slated for the bridge.
Elizabeth, what privilege.

The debs are dead, but on your head
the crown is wedged like chewing gum,
and, though your power's limited,
it's sure to last till kingdom come:
new Cromwells won't spring up in stealth,
though, Liz, you rule a commonwealth.

P.M.s – there's ten you've waited on –
Winston, Eden, Hal, Al, Hal,
Ted and Jim and Margaret, John
and Tony. Few, like you, are carolled.
Number Eleven, soon, it's reckoned,
in Number Ten, dear Liz the Second.

You've pursed your lips, and clenched your purse,
and shaken hands, a saintly Vitus:
it could have been a great deal worse,
but your subjects blub, have monarchitis –
it's lucky that your family's sins are
not visited on you, Liz Windsor.

Your predecessors chopped or changed,
were booed, were crude, were tyrants, touchy;
your heir is merely strange, estranged,
makes dunking biscuits for the duchy –
his lot will have to cadge a fee
should he succeed, dear Majesty.

There's some who've snubbed your royal regalia –
Amin, who preened; or Jo'burg's Botha;
Mugabe; Smith; and half Australia,
dear Liz of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
Cherie won't curtsey, Maggie stole
your thunder, Blair assumes your role.

But though like one lost one-armed bandit,
with all that waving, waving, waving,
you do maintain a certain standard,
and flag, unflagging. You don't seem raving.
I'm a republican, Liz. Forgive me.
No matter, though, since you'll outlive me.

ER Indoors
The Queen is 80.
19 April 2006


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