Tower

ALICE AND THE TOWER.

 

She climbs the narrow

staircase of the tower

which is circular, now

and then a door leads

 

off to a room, but the

doors are closed, and

only her shoes echo on

the stairs. Her father

 

has forbidden her to

climb the stairs, too

dangerous, Alice, he's

said, but she climbs

 

them in-spite, her sense

of adventure overriding

her anxiety of possible

punishment. She stops

 

half way. Breathes deep.

Her cheeks flush red,

her eyes bright blue or

green, depending on

 

the light, her mother

says, on kissing her

goodnight. She walks

up further, putting a

 

small hands on her knees

to press her on. Nearly

at the top, passing

another door, pressing

 

her knees, onward trot.

She stands on the top

step and opens a small

door that leads to the roof.

 

Fresh air meets her,

warmth of sun. She

walks carefully along

the narrow ridge, peers

 

out over the grounds below.

The gardener is busy

in the rose beds, back

arched, hoe in hands.

 

Her father stands nearby

pointing a finger, words

inaudible to her, linger.

She ducks in case he

 

looks up. She walks,

bending low, along

the narrow ridge to

the other side. There

 

she peers at the back

garden and looking

down sees the thin

maid carrying a bucket

 

along the path. Thin

arms and hands barely

managing to haul along.

A dog barks. Someone

 

laughs. She ducks, and

walks the narrow ridge,

and into the door, onto

the winding stairs. She

 

waits. Listens. She tiptoes

down one step at a time,

ears cocked, mouth dry.

She pauses outside a

 

door half way down.

She turns the handle

and looks in. The room

is empty. She enters

 

and closes the door behind.

A bedroom. Small bed,

washstand, cupboard,

chair. She walks on by.

 

She opens the outer door

and peers along a corridor.

No one in sight. She goes

out and shuts the door

 

behind. The smell of polish

and flowers. Shining

floors, carpet well brushed

and clean. She walks

 

slowly along the corridor,

dark shadows in corner

and doorways, lights off,

sunlight barely touching.

 

Her father is at the other

end talking to Fedge.

Baritone to baritone.

She ducks in a doorway,

 

bites a lip, fiddles fingers.

Had he seen her? The voices

carry along the corridor,

rising and lowering like

 

heavy waves. She peeps

out of her hideaway, eyes

bright against dark shadows.

Her father stands there

 

towering high. She smiles,

moves out, folds her hands

in her pinafore pockets.

Where have you been?

 

he asks, his voice baritone

deep and vibrating doors.

Walking, she says, looking

for Dolly. He sternly stares,

 

dark eyes burning. Not

been on the tower roof,

I hope? She looks at the

shiny buttons on his coat,

 

sometimes she can see her

face in them smiling back.

Oh, no, she lies, wouldn't

dare, too dangerous, to

 

go there. He looks her

in the eyes, and knows

she lies, a double wrong

to be corrected, his mind

 

suggests, but isn't sure,

if it was she, he saw.

Could have been another,

he'll ask her mother,

 

to keep an eye and watch,

not to be too content; or

her naughty daughter will

receive her punishment.

View dadio's Full Portfolio

Fleur de Lis

1889

on Tops of Parisian Towers

'there is no place like home'

 

come with Emblems

carried high above heads

Song of Solomon

 

lilium inter spinas

Mary me Madonna

in your red Veiling

 

autumn crocus

kold Kill with beauty

Oleander close behind

 

coats with many arms

saintless The scent

Of your Lilly Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


View hce's Full Portfolio

Tower

She sits in the tower

Hair filled with star-fish 

Face made of zeros

Can't take the master

Can't fake the slave

 

Lightinging bugs catch-up to each other

In fantastic behind-lights

Cicadas sing out when the parade leaves town

 

Sing out

Slow glow

Sing out

Slow glow

 

Green as Grass-Heads

Stop

White as a Whale-Ghosts

Start

Blue Bastard 

Red Reality

 

She climbed down from the tower

Star-fish in her hair

 

 

 

 

View hce's Full Portfolio