A Glimpse of Mary
I call her Mary, but her name was never recorded;
Mary seems to fit as well as any other title
for a girl who was left behind.
Roughly aged ten and as pretty as a picture,
she sat in a small round-seated arch-backed chair,
upholstered in crushed green velvet.
She wore a dark blue dress that reached to her calves,
white lace trimmed the hem and short puffed sleeves
and her stockings were black – like her high button boots;
a pristine white pinafore would keep her best dress clean.
Her dark brown hair in long plaits,
her green eyes sparkling,
she returned my smile
and when I turned back to ask who she might be,
as sure as eggs are eggs and the sun rises in the East
Miss Mary was no more.
Her first visit for a decade they told me.
The Victorian child who, in leaving this world too soon,
never quite managed to leave the house she called home.