Gun Salute

Marion Harris

What could we do,
you coming all the way
down to London
(day return) and me

learning fast
for exams? Looking up
from atomic spectra,
I said ‘A walk,’

but I honestly
never planned
on bellowing men,
or a band,

or horse-drawn
guns. Twenty-one
near seismic
bangs, then

my desk
and your train. Rest
for the horses, pints
for that military sweat.