Just another skeletal chandelier
suspended from another solarium ceiling
twists on the shady wafting torpor
between the whitewashed walls
and careless teatime dolls.

Flutter, flutter, flip - the wingbeat
of every bird that keeps the tea party
in these shivering crepuscular centuries.

But migrations go on only so long, my friend.

And in dances she, Governess -
the young Lady of teatimes, starlings,
and seashell friends.
Giggle and sing-song whisper:

"Silly dollies, drinking tea.
Sandwiches and teatime games
are child's fare,
and you mustn't use our parasol
for a candelabrum.
Now let us play in the great stone houses
and not be silly dollies, yes?"

But it is a whispered sing-song
and heard by none.

Much later she returns
to fetch the dilapidated old thing
and dance with the starlings
as of old
and beat her burning heart into
coal, into