The Lost Poem

Ski-ing with his family in the Alpine resort of Val d’Isère, a backbench Tory MP on holiday encounters a fellow officer from his long buried past, when just out of his teens he was serving a lonely year in the Brigade of Guards in the post-war Malayan campaign, casting himself a poet of lofty aspiration. In later life, his scramble for recognition as a wordy politician, and with his first wife replaced by an ambitious competitor, has killed off the youthful dreamer, to whom a particular poem of spontaneous immediacy had momentarily become  the template of the person his soul awaited: fifty spontaneous lines his re-encountered fellow Guardsman had capriciously bereft him of forever.