Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Waiting at the lattice, which dulls still more the off-white light,
or sieves it into speckled, slanted prisms,
footbound, sclerotic, eyes smeared with cataracts,
there never was a time (though the miniatures she hordes
in the marquetry and fretwork cabinet,
could be touched up with meretricious restoration...)
when, with measured, strong and agile grace
she stamped or sprang around the floors inlaid
with malachite and lapis and carnelian,
or through the embers of the fires of wanderers.

Yet still she waits at the lattice for the gap-toothed pedlar
to bring, along with bands and bolts of textured cloth
in shades from heliotrope to madder, ribbons
woven with signs and characters, known and unknown,
outlandish knicknacks, penny dreadfuls,
jewjaws and Jew's harps, toys that fly and speak and break,
news of her people, and the land from which she came.


Anonymous said...


meggie said...

Just perfect.

Sheila said...

I want to see her and know more of her story!

Lucas said...

This poem reminds me of the Victorian toys once glimpsed from the cloth bag of an 84 year-old child minder when I was 4 years old.
Her name was Elsie Kydd.

Lucy said...

Thanks, these comments are appreciated, I still lack confidence about poems and wasn't sure about this one...
Lucas, I remember a similar old lady childminder, in an old cottage with a very low bay window onto the street, in which were set up intriguing mianiature scenes with succulent plants and little figures and ornaments... I hadn't thought of her for a very long time.