Poem of the Month

October 2021

Just over a year ago the monthly writing workshop of the ABPA online forum presented a photograph as a prompt. It was a historic scene, taken in Sydney in 1907, and showed two men walking towards the "White Star Tea and Coffee Rooms" in Argyle Street. Workshop participants were invited to make up a story from the photograph. So I wrote the following rollicking yarn ...

Turning the Tables

© Shelley Hansen 2020

The year of Federation brought the chance to make a quid
embarking on an enterprise - which many people did.
But Cec and Bert were shady, not averse to dodgy deals -
with blind ambition, caught the unsuspecting by their heels.

They courted Maud and Mabel, but without intent to wed -
they planned to fleece the ladies and then hit the road instead.
For these two girls were sisters, and they said their aunt had died
and left a thousand pounds - a gift too good to be denied.

The blokes convinced the lovesick girls to promise they would pay
the purchase price to buy a house - then set the wedding day.
But Mabel said, "There's just one thing," and waved a shapely hand.
"We'll do it for engagement rings - I'm sure you understand."

The fellows paused to ponder, but conceded that was fair,
for once they got their windfall they'd have loads of cash to spare.
And so they spent their savings on two diamonds set in gold
which Maud and Mabel sported, bright as brass and twice as bold!

The White Star Tea and Coffee Rooms that stood in Argyle Street
was where they planned a rendezvous to make the plan complete.
Cec told the ladies firmly, "Bring your bank notes in a sack.
We'll seal the deal and then before you know it, we'll be back."

The shysters passed by Miller Street and shared unholy glee -
they'd get the cash, then catch a train and soon be off scot-free!
But they became a picture of dismay! No girls in sight!
They wondered if the tables had been turned ... and they were right!

For Maud and Mabel pawned the rings and headed for the "Cross",
resumed their old profession (they were never at a loss!)
The lesson? When you plan to pull a fraud, then cut and run -
make sure your target isn't likewise occupied ... for fun!

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