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Dressed in straw baskets,

The Lady of the Bighouse

Has gone on her shopping trip.

All the way along the hall,

Exquisite perfume lingers in the air.

High on the top wall

Hangs a large oil painting

Of the Lady wearing pink,

Her eyes seem real

As she looks down reassuringly.

Gundog is passing by

And is momentarily distracted

By the hum of a solitary bee,

Which flies through an open window

And alights on a vase of flowers

Freshly cut from the herbaceous border.

It hovers unsteadily over each bloom,

And then flies back outside.

A strong shaft of sunlight

Picks out the gentle patterns

On the deep hall carpet.

The light breeze from the window,

Causing small shiny specks of dust

To spin playfully.

The lavender leaves of the notepad

On the hall table waft up.

“See Gardener: Strawberries for tea”

Is written on the top sheet.

Next to the telephone,

A fine china cup sits

Quarter full on its saucer.

Still warm.

Traces of red Italian lipstick

On the rim

And a gold foil biscuit wrapper

Lies neatly folded.

Through in the drawing room,

The French windows are open

To the big, big lawn.

With its fresh green stripes.

The Lady’s secateurs

And small brass watering can

Wait on the steps,

In the sun

The Lady magazine lies open at Perfect Peonies

And a ladybird wanders

The crinkling pages


As the mid afternoon stillness

Descends upon the big house.

Every room is filled

With a warm summer silence...

From Bighouse first published in 2014




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