by Carol Wolrich
The starlings have all gone to Brighton,
as clematis crawls, then falls on arches
called rustic, in a garden called town.
Thin bees bumble with feeble sacks of
orange fluff, like paltry saddlebags.
While, somewhere in the choked street,
a car alarm does a wild stint to
scatterbrain the sparrows with neurosis.
An urban fox packs up to leave for
the country, if he can make it through
security. The pigeons remain to snatch
a few easy crumbs, and to get by with
the latest guns. A lady, starched in minimal
white to match her drawing room, brisks
down the garden with posh scissors, to cut
bamboo grasses for her dinner party vases.
"We're having veal in crushed beetle sauce
for the main course," she informs a guest
on her mobile phone. "Yes, bring a bottle
if you like. No, not Valium, I mean a nice
red or white, to go with the pudding –
truffle-ice with hedgehog clippings.
It's the latest thing. Now that we've
finished with old hat cuisine."
Soon, lying back on a raffia chair,
on a rug thrown up from a Delhi market,
she dozes by the bird-bath with a G & T,
and thinks she hears a white dove roar;
"A bird that is tired of London is simply
tired of London." Then it soars overhead,
but it's merely a jumbo jet. And Samuel
Johnson thought he'd seen it all.
©2005 Carol Wolrich
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