Teatime

Even the cake is genteel. Its crumbs
fall softly-spoken to the floor.
And the fingers which pinch the thumbs
make a point of politeness. More
tea. The conversation takes its turn
upon the parquet, a slow twirl
of lips and tongue, as soft as fern
on leaf. One wipes a tiny pearl
from the corner of the mouth, correct.
This sandwich is a perfect word
although nicely circumspect.
I canít imagine what has occurred,
superintendent. You say a shot
rang out like a teaspoon on a saucer?
This strawberry, this compote,
excellent. Now I shall pour, sir,
a pale and fragrant cup. The bloom
is so beautiful. Your voice trembled.
We shall meet in the drawing-room,
expressively assembled.

From the book Rime Present