The Bidding

Wednesday marked seven years since my dad died. So here’s a sonnet about him, concerning an important aspect of his retirement years, which Richard Skinner kindly published in his annual journal 14 in 2020.

The Bidding

We never saw our father bidding in stuffy,
Crockery-cluttered auction rooms across Surrey—      
Dorking, Shere, Reigate, Haslemere—for late-Georgian
Toby jugs; even so, we can all imagine

His tried and tested method of signalling a bid
Was the same as when oncoming vehicles slid
Politely into passing places and relinquished 
Right of way to his Fiesta: he acknowledged

Such sensible behaviour not by disclosing
A palm, a thumbs-up or peace sign, but raising
His trigger finger an inch; like a Sunday-outing
Farmer in a new black Mercedes, visiting

Beachy Head, who listens to Country and Western
To snuff out an upsurge of untold depression.

6 thoughts on “The Bidding

  1. I love the music of this, the subtlety of the rhymes and half-rhymes, and the way it opens up from the stuffy auction-rooms – which I remember well from my Surrey childhood – to the bracing air of Beachy Head. A lovely poem, short but full of meaning.

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