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Eavan Boland

After a friend has gone I like the feel of it:

The house at night. Everyone asleep.

The way it draws in like atmosphere or evening.


One-o-clock. A floral tea pot and a raisin scone.

A tray waits to be taken down.

The landing light is off. The clock strikes. The cat


comes into his own, mysterious on the stairs,

a black ambivalence around the legs of button-back

chairs, an insinuation to be set beside


the red spoon and the salt-glazed cup,

the saucer with the thick spill of tea

which scalds off easily undder the tap. Time


is a tick, a purr, a drop. The spider

on the dining room window has fallen asleep

among complexities as I will once


the doors are bolted and the keys tested

and the switch turned up of the kitchen light

which made outside in the garden


an electric room - a domestication

of closed daisies, an archtecture

instant and improbable.


From The North No 3 (1987)