Front parlours oozing bees wax polish
Tiled hallways to break your neck in
Cold tea in china cups
Doilies on plates
Greetings from old friends
It is their turn to be civil to me
Pretend here now that it never happened
Behave like grown ups
The denial rattles in my head
Acting on a carefully set stage
Curtains raised I am on show
Shall I cause the china to tinkle?
Sending echoes down their empty corridors
We are different people meeting today
Let's play with the tea set
It's not often you have cucumber sandwiches with
King nun, muscles to die for
'Oh yes' she says 'I knew you would reach great heights'
Her fist curled in her lap once made me fly
Into the wall
It is shocking weather we agree
Wiping a white linen hanky across her nose
'How is your health?' I ask
'Good, thank God, yes, we are due a downpour'
Angry forehead veins pulsating
Pumping red nose bleeds across the parlour floor
Indeed the storm last night was fury itself
'Do you still play the piano' she inquires?
'You were very good at scales I recall'
'No, not since our last lesson' I reply
My Ivory keys stained red
'Oh look' she says 'The heavens have opened'
When she came to town
From twenty miles away
she was as exotic as pineapple
from another parish -
her name wasn't even a saint
Neither a mammy, a teacher or nun, she arrived
Into a world where things only got fixed when broken
changing her shop every other month
We waited in anticipation
Nourishing our monochrome minds
in the kaleidoscope of her existence