THE HUNTERIAN POEMS
Lady Taking Tea
Thank you thank you but we have seen too many lily-white Annunciations.
We could flock-paper a whole library room with sad Stabat Maters.
We could tapestry a flash-flood parlour with triumphant Assumptions.
Can you imagine the relief, the delight, the quiet ovation
Time has engineered out of simplicity?
And do not think she had brought out her silver tea-service:
Everything was natural, in use, well made, you can see
She is not entertaining, but taking a break from her chores,
No tablecloth, but nothing scruffy or sloppy,
Her striped skirt shows she keeps up appearances,
Would no doubt turn the radio on,
An artist's wife as we think she was,
Not one for dances or romances,
She dreams a moment, staring into the future
Where, if she knew it, great art can be
An ordinary woman sipping tea.