An English Lawn, July 1875
Three shadows stretch across the perfect lawn.
Words drop into the softened light.
Five o’clock tea on a summer afternoon,
The ceremony slow and deliberate as the Thames.
This is their drawing room, the tea-table’s feet
Sunk into the luscious grass, the old man’s
Embroidered slippers powder-blue against its sheen,
The collie curled beside his wicker-chair.
The young men stroll and smoke, and admire the house,
Its russet bricks lit by the weakening sun, laughing
As they walk back to the chair at his admonition:
‘Now, you mustn’t fall in love with my niece!’
The dog barks and dashes, and they turn
To catch her shape picked out by the doorway,
As she moves, bright-eyed, into the story,
As she steps, bare-headed, into the future.
JMG, May 2008