Sunday, August 31, 2014

Village Doorsteps

One by one,
Like silent stars
In the silent twilight,
The villagers appear
On their doorsteps.

A genteel old lady,
Breathing of cambric tea and lavender,
Smooths her starched apron
With her firm little hand,
And shakes out her skein
Of soft, white wool.

Two nice little girls
Sewing doll dresses
With neat, tidy stitches,
Primly purse their lips
In the precise manner
Of well-reared village maidens.

A harassed housewife,
Distracted from her dishwashing
As the sunset glanced across her copper kettles,
Steps out to marvel at its glowing beauty,
And absent-mindedly wipes her hands
On a blue-bordered dish towel.

The new school teacher
Cups her chin in her palms,
Allowing a slim volume
To slip unheeded into a bed of larkspur,
And its poem-printed pages become drenched with dew,
As the gray dreams creep into her eyes.

The dusk steals softly
Down the village streets.
Merging the villagers
In its deepening umber,
The thick hush unpierced
Save by the door-latches
Clicking metallically
One by one.


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