STABLES

ALICE AND THE STABLES.

The stables
where horses
snort and move

 

and grooms work
and sky dull
and greyish

 

Alice walks
holding on
for dear life

 

to the hand
of Mary
the one she

 

has chosen
to be her
new mother

 

fingers red
with washing
chores and things

 

but it's warm
as she holds
the hand tight

 

Mary talks
of cold nights
noisy bed

 

attic mice
and spiders
in corners

 

of the room
Alice says
I could stay

 

in your room
keep you warm
cuddle up

 

hold you close
as I did
with Mother

 

in her bed
before she
was locked up

 

with illness
of her brain
Mary sighs

 

feels the hand
in her own
small and warm

 

small fingers
tiny nails
pink and pure

 

different class
than her own
we will see

 

Mary says
stable sounds
horses snort

 

their large heads
looking out
big black eyes

 

large white teeth
busy grooms
at their work

 

Alice looks
inner fear
but draws near

 

wants to stroke
Mary lifts
Alice up

 

her red hands
wedged beneath
small armpits

 

mother's love
smells the soap
in the hair

 

on the blue
pinafore
Alice smiles

 

feels the horse
smooth and hot
on her hand

 

Mary holds
feels the heart
beating soft

 

as she holds
Alice up
to the horse

 

secret child
adopted
in her heart

none must know
of this love
secret pact

 

lift her on
a groom says
Alice thrills

 

lifted there
Mary holds
the groom laughs

 

in loud barks
in the blood
this horse love

 

the groom says
Alice smiles
happiness

 

shining out
of her eyes
Mary holds

 

her tightly
keeps her there
on the horse

 

safe and sound
then later
after that

 

lifts her down
to the ground
as the horse

 

with the groom
walk away
come on then

 

Mary says
let's go back
your father

 

will wonder
where you are
Alice nods

 

holds the hand
soft and warm
wants to be

 

close to her
but she sees
by the house

 

Nanny stand
arms folded
grim features

 

dressed in black
Mary holds
the child's hand

 

tighter still
walking back.

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