It was my birthday.
In time-honoured wont
I took the bus to the Rubicon
for tea and cake with Uncle Pete,
Master of Treats and Ceremonies.
The Tea Room chinked and tinkled, snug
with radio hum and finger crooked
genteel folk - all right and proper.
In the lulling, hum-drummed buzz
and the fullness of tea and time
the crazed mirror tranced and fogged
and a boy swam in its fathom.
The double take threw back a year
and Ziggy’s circus loomed.
In my cornered eye, a ring drilled bear
danced a hot iron dance
to the dark-heart beat of the rousted crowd,
in a lumbering circle of madness.
For the blink of a wakening eye
I bore his infinite ring of misery.
To the startled crack of the radio whip
the jolted Tea Room chinked again;
I stared dumbfound into the fathom
and met my father’s eyes -
The image held.
The double take gave back the Rubicon
and Uncle Pete, but the boy was lost forever
in the mirrors craze.
By Stella Wulf