• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08

In the long room

In the long room, glance this side
and that – see portraits of ancestors
long dead, long ceased to be.

Here’s one in Elizabethan ruff
another in Edwardian frock coat
one in widow’s weeds

and here they hang, lost to all
but those who see the portrait
catch a glimpse of family likeness

and in the grounds, extensive grounds
see little graves for pets long passed
with headstones and kind words;

and in the corridors the bells that
summoned servants, made demands
played social status to a tee.

But in the lofts the mice run riot
and in the cellars rats make grubby nests
where, then the heroes to disturb them?

Where then the cats, needed in these homes
to chase the mice and kill the rats
and make their homes in gentlemen’s hats?