I met her, spotless, in the summer dust
of the back lane, before her small red house.
Her twinsets glimmered rose, pale mauve (I must
then have said ‘morve’). The village old would purse
thin lips, begrudge her name. Yet she stepped clean,
neater than nuns. I knew her prim, no worse.
In the tall farm we rented, she had been
Head Housemaid. She had dusted each gilt frame
when he first caught her, young, in his hall’s gleam.
I still remember her tall farmer’s name.
My mother told me, with reluctant thrill,
it was a long affair. Out it all came
when she was handed house-keys by his Will
so she kept warmth, food, twinsets, although all,
except a child, glanced sideways at her still.
There, suddenly, I glimpse her, a green girl.
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