Casual readers usually neglect Christie’s poems, but her inner life is there and not Marple’s or Poirot’s.
“Picnic 1960” suggests Christie never lost her sense of her good life. In the final poem of the volume, Christie makes the case that she has tender feelings about her age and her life’s worth at seventy years old. Poems and Postern of Fate are Christie’s final publications. She died in 1976.
Symbolically, Christie situates her picnic site by the side of a busy road where she has parked her Rolls Royce. Spread out on her rug, she has opened her wicker and served tea, sausage rolls and oranges only slightly tinged with dust.
Afternoon tea by the side of the road
That is the meal that I love,
Hundreds of cars rushing past all the time,
Sunshine and clouds up above!
Get out the chairs and set up the tea,
Serviettes, too, are a must,
Never a moment that’s quiet or dull,
Sausage rolls flavoured with dust!
Time to go home? Strew the orange peel round,
Leave paper and portions of pie,
Pack up the crocks and get into the queue,
Perfect picnic place, love, and goodbye . . . .
See Agatha Christie. Poems. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1973