The Regal

Mrs Wittering lays out the cutlery
Staging the tables with care
Even with nobody there –
It’s a must

Polishes the ornaments, ruffles the serviettes
What if a flock of them came
No-one but her here to blame
For the dust

The Regal is open for tea
Charming views of the sea
And the empty arcades
The Regal is shamelessly yours
With its desolate doors
Even vanity fades

Mrs Wittering scowls at the layabouts
Smoking their way to the fare
Even with nobody there –
The abyss

Filthy lettering, gutter littering
Needles and numbers and names
How did her paradise change
Into this?


Silver frames and pictures by the gramophone
Haunted by a ghostly lover’s tune
The touch of silk, the curl of smoke
A secret smile, a whispered joke
A stolen kiss beneath the paper moon


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