Tea Dances of this World

1 September 2013

In the market you pet a coffee-coloured poodle with tea-tinted eyes
practising that peculiarly boneless flop of his kind.
Liberated from love, love is everywhere but in the person of the beloved.
You look like a garden suggests a five-o’clock-shadow-passer-by.
Your mother lifts a white applique tablecloth
from a mainstreet Red Cross donation bin, thinking of grass stains
on her linen ensemble, more tautologically on her daughter’s flowered
emerald rayon. And would he like to be in the garden?
she wonders out loud.

Moving deftly, she eschews righteous plaid & bossy
gingham for the softly-starchy embroidery, thinking of waxed canvas
laid over drawing room carpets at tea dances she never attended.
Her green cotton crotchet veil rests on her shoulders like the chainmail
of Crusaders, caught under pillbox hat cut from crocodile skin handbag.
She smells minty, your Mother he muses.
Doused in peppermint oil, burnished, her lack of sanctimony
She steals from charity
is breathtaking. You park your arses on the
tablecloth. No dancing but
pear tart.

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