Twinings | A poem by Dorothy Porter, 1994


Scott McKowen, gravure

Insects float
black and frantic

on the smooth surface
of the swimming pool

Mrs Norris makes tea

I bet myself

before it arrives
set out on a tray
a plump silver pot

my mother
would be proud of me

I sip Earl Grey

and let them talk
about Mickey

it’s not like her
she doesn’t take drugs
she doesn’t even smoke

she wants to be a journalist


she’s pretty
she’s sweet
she’s too good to be true

her mother stands
brushes down her flowery frock

I take my cue
make reassuring plans

and glance
as I leave

the sun flattening
the withered rockery.

Twinings,  Dorothy Porter,  The monkey’s mask, 1994

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