We packed at record speed. The cardboard beds
would fold away in neat, domestic squares
— and that was it. The lift fit twenty heads
but we, like true blue champions, took the stairs.
The village was quite lovely. Later, I
would daydream and remember little parts:
the pool, the parties, bets that went awry
(an archer was the one I played at darts)
— aboard the plane there was no crowd at all,
just chef de mission; we, his entourage.
If only he had been there, in the hall
when I paid up, to wish me bon courage —
she'd grinned, refused, and handed me her keys;
I should have gone. Should have learned Japanese.
By Zou TangmingQLRS Vol. 20 No. 4 Oct 2021