© B.J. (Beryl) Stirling
Winner, Humorous Section, 2012 Snowy Mountains Muster, Jindabyne, NSW.
Her yellow Ferrari, quite out of control,
Was written off, racing the Highway Patrol,
And a realist always, acknowledging fate
She smiled at the ambo. Said: “Bugger! I’m late!”
Then remembered the changes she’d made to her will,
Burst out laughing, breathed deeply and then became still.
Will reading isn’t much practiced of late.
A letter or phone call arrives to relate
That you’ve profited and if you have not, won’t disclose
Why you haven’t, so hopefully nobody knows.
But Kimberly Robinson, always a wag,
Had resolved on a reading, to dole out the swag.
Her solicitor seemed just a little embarrassed,
While those who’d been summoned all looked rather harassed.
He dawdled and hemmed but at last seemed to find
The courage to say that she’d been of sound mind,
When explaining, defining, the terms of her will,
Which he now was empowered by law to fulfil.
“Mrs Robinson made this short film,” the man said,
“To reveal all her legacies, once she was dead.”
Then he turned on the video. Everyone there
Beheld Kimberly perched in an antique arm chair.
Wearing jeans, her Akubra and chinchilla coat,
With a gleam in her eye that was more of a gloat
The solicitor nervously turned up the sound,
Sipped a mouthful of water while looking around
And light hearts grew heavy, were suddenly leaden.
“We’re for it” one muttered. “Here comes Armageddon.”
And as Kimberley spoke, there was great apprehension,
No one daring to guess the late lady’s intention.
“I want you to know that this will is airtight,
You’ll be wasting your time if you think you can fight
My lawyers, whose expertise doesn’t come cheap.
Their charges are high, tell the truth, bloody steep.
I alone am empowered to share out my pelf
And I’m pleased to assure you I’m pleasing myself.
I was left quite well off by my first husband, Rhys,
Whose passing I felt was a blessed release.
A creative accountant whose doubtful transactions
Most probably triggered his killer’s reactions,
And though I don’t love her as well as I oughter,
My jewels and furs I bequeath to my daughter.
The house I’m afraid, is not mine to leave.
That’s a shock for my second I’ve kept up my sleeve.
I’m afraid it is on a life tenancy lease
That terminates, sadly, upon my decease
And reverts to be part of my brother’s estates
With the coal mines, white slaving and shares in Bill Gates
Now, although he was only the putative father
Of my son Banjo Lawson, I thought that I’d rather
Not wholly dismiss the good times that we’ve shared,
Though annulment was imminent if I’d been spared.
Still, in spite of those plans for a speedy divorce
I have left him my cash box. It’s empty of course.
Young Banjo, of course, as most of you guessed,
Was conceived at a Hunter Bush Poetry Fest
By a bard. Though his written work’s not recommended,
His performances scored him a Highly Commended.
I thought for old time’s sake I’d leave him a trifle,
Until learning his wife’s a dead shot with a rifle.
To Banjo, I’m leaving his daddy’s string vest
And his leopard skin jocks, they’re the ones I liked the best,
As well as my Rolls and my brewery shares
And a warning to always conduct his affairs
With discretion. For nothing, I tell you, is worse,
Than a public exposure in metre and verse.
Now my Borgia ring’s for my mother-in-law.
Not the present incumbent, the one from before,
To remind her of Rhys, her deceased eldest son
Who gave it to me; he’d a great sense of fun.
I expect that she’ll manage to fathom the lock,
But be prepared, dear, for a bit of a shock.
As for the rest, a substantial amount
Is stashed overseas, in my Swiss bank account,
Which I leave to the man who has tended my grounds,
Kept the garden up faithfully, doing his rounds.
An expatriate Pom who has worked bloody hard,
To keep up appearances in the front yard.
He’s getting on now, and he wants to retire,
Indeed sometimes it seems he’s about to expire,
And truthfully, when he applied for the job,
I thought him too old. Not to mention a snob.
But his background revealed, I was thrilled to discover,
In the Old Dart he’d been Lady Chatterley’s lover!
Now if anyone here feels you’ve been overlooked,
Cheer up! For the local hotel has been booked.
There’ll be poetry walk ups, unlimited booze –
You can stay on as long as you bloody well choose.
Guess my spirit will be there to share in the fun,
For although I am dead, I’ll be damned if I’m done.”