Ashanti

Wisteria hangs from a tea room wall
and a girl in a snooker player’s waistcoat
sweeps a table with a cloth
as inside the gate English Heritage
offers a bunch of brochures in return
for five pounds for the House
three for the Grounds

Before settling the chairs the girl turns her head
to glance out at the feather tulips
which could have floated down from parrots
and noting the tribal marks on her cheek
I wonder if she had ever anticipated
serving orange cake at a Tudor palace by the Thames.


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