it will not stay as it was left,
the boogie-woogie of books –
jazzing up the room –
will fall like a ton of fiction

there will be no tambourines,
no clinking of love triangles,
the muse will not slip into bed
and sleep until lunchtime

it will not stay as it was left,
the haughty new housekeeper
will burn the toast,
throw marmalade at the ceiling,

she will arm herself with butter,
blast out a battle-cry,
call up her cavalry of cutlery,
storm the entrance hall,

while the bell keeps ringing,
ringing and ringing,
ringing and ringing,
she has changed the locks.

Linda Marshall
(from Cloud Cuckoo Café)

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