A DAY OUT WITH THE NATIONAL TRUST
"This was the family dining room,"
the lady stands in simple tweeds
her feet astride the dark oak floor
reflecting history with all its deeds
sombre still with shadowed time
the tumbling drapes discreetly back
and panelling fading into black.
An open doorway suddenly reveals
an ancient visitor visibly thrilled
whose wife peruses the outline plan
as only elderly people can.
"This was the Duchess's private closet,"
another guide announces
his thrusting head with eagles' eyes
takes in the familiar field.
Then we had our coffees and cake
in a stable block in the garden's shade
everything harmonized brick and brac
where cursing horsemen embarrassed the maid
in eighteenth century palisade.
The brochure explains the garden design
Italian influence, yews and box
with nature pinned back in fashionable style
when suddenly..... the scent of phlox.
The Japanese arrive at last
from hideous coach disgorged
in reverence recording digital views
and another link is lovingly forged
by the National Trust with all it's friends.
Today we learnt an awful lot about
for now we could be Ann of Cleves
yearning for the autumn leaves.
"The house will be closing in fifteen minutes,"
the lady in tweeds descends
inspecting the floors and fastening doors
we leave the spirits to their dusty dreams
and their accursed pointless schemes.