• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 01


the silk nightgown in silver
for their first night together in the captain's cabin
other clothes and accessories
that children could use for dressing up
or amateur theatricals for period drama
a feathered boa of particular interest
offered too is a set of ivory handled
hair brushes used without guilt or thought
for the original donor – how he died
how the herd in distress had to flee –
though the captain was brave and his guns
can be looked at by special request
as can his souvenir spears and zebra skin shield
bought in a native market at Mombasa –
too there are examples of cruise liner
table linen somehow acquired when he retired
along with his presentation carriage clock
that has stopped though only needs wind-up –
we must not forget the Dartington Crystal
decanter and glasses presented on his twenty
fifth year of service and from which he would
pour and drink his single malt Scotch
when off duty – she might join him with
a gin and tonic as they sailed to New York
or traversed the Indian Ocean –
now they are gone and have left behind
these few tokens that they once lived
and appeared to enjoy life with – no regrets
even when they watched ships on the sea
from a bungalow on a promontory above Eastbourne