The ChoiceA Poem by David Lewis Paget
The house had stood in the forest since
The passing of George the Third,
Ivy clung to the western wall,
The pillars were cracked and scarred,
The windows were bricked and boarded up
From the days of the window tax,
And the name FitzAdam was burnt in sin
In its myriad faults and cracks.
The oaks threw shadows in early morn,
The elms threw shadows at noon,
There wasn’t a single sunny wall
To be found ‘til the month of June,
And deep inside in the gloomy halls
Sat the last of the family tree,
Two aging spinsters, Jan and Jane,
And a dead man, that made three!
For Henry sat as he’d always sat
Since the day that he’d come to call,
To ask for the hand of Jan or Jane,
And arrange a Wedding Ball,
It was fifty years ago today
That he’d kept them in suspense,
For neither knew what their suitor knew
And the atmosphere was tense!
It was just a game to him, they thought,
He was going to have his fun,
He sat at the head of the table, and
He watched their features run,
The anxious looks of the elder girl,
The pleading lips of Jane,
He sat for an hour between them there
And refused to name a name!
The fire that glowed in the hearth went out,
Jane left to fetch some coal,
While Jan reached out for a sign from him
And felt that his hand was cold;
His eyes were blank as a morning mist,
His jaw had dropped to his chest,
‘What have you done - was I the one?’
Jane cried, in her distress!
But Henry, he was good and dead,
He’d reached his earthly span,
His heart had not proved big enough
To choose between Jane and Jan,
And so he sits with a secret smile
As his flesh returns to sand,
While Jan and Jane, they still complain
As they struggle to hold his hand!
David Lewis Paget
© 2012 David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget
Moonta, South Australia, Australia
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