Standing Up

Louise Hislop

Worn carpets in damask reds on dark-stained wooden floors,
rich-coloured walls, heavy velvet curtains.

I never looked out of that window.

We played long hours on the rug, sitting cross-legged,
kneeling as if in silent prayer: small cars,
Lego, doll's house, Meccano,
imagining felt scenes, sewing miniature outfits,
completing puzzles. I learned
to play cards, to share, to be generous. I learned
to name the counties of England,
the states of Canada, our wild flowers,
graduated eventually
to piecing together Old Masters, but by then
we had stood up, climbed to the table
in a different room.

The rooms in that house revolved;
nursery turned into playroom, dayroom, bedroom,
snug turned into dining room,
dining room flipped into sitting room,
all spinning like leaves round the stem of the long corridor.

Only my attic bedroom and the high-windowed kitchen
never moved.

Louise Hislop

Louise writes primarily about family and natural history. She loves to walk in the countryside and observe everything, finding that small details are beautiful and very important. Ideas arrive when gardening or doing the ironing. Her pamphlet A Crow in a Crowd was published in 2015 by Red Squirrel Press.

Her previous Poem of the Month was The Second Version.

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Standing Up © 2018 Louise Hislop: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.