I would come in, careful with the latch,
and she would be bowed in a circle of lamplight
husking walnuts or hulling a batch
of fresh-picked strawberries, smiling. Something like that.
And there would be succulent baked meats
on a scrubbed deal table with tipsy legs. Somewhere
offstage perhaps, a poignant rabbit
stew would mutter to itself on a back burner.
Not to mention the black-leaded fireplace
shining, though outshone by souvenirs from Bexhill
ranked year by year on the mantelpiece,
each one of them seeming familiar. But still,
I would be in the wrong house again
and stumble out, avoiding the gifted daughters
scattered like cushions, the dumbstruck man,
his hands sunk deep in a bowl of silent water.