I race newts along red tiles in the kitchen.
sail the wooden step ladder across a scabby lawn
bordered by a forest of golden rod.
In my parachute-silk embroidered petticoat
brandishing my wooden sword
I am deaf to that other music.

Next door. Foreigners.
A woman with greasy hair and no words played the violin.
A dark man who taught me piano,
insisting I sat on his lap,
practised my scales
through his intense, dried out breath.

The old lady has furniture too large and elegant
for this suburban box.
Mrs Betty Turk’s blue bowl,
with its strange violet sweets,
closed with a glassy dome, the snick of it releasing
escaped people, melodies flooding their heads.


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