After The Dinner Party - Poem by Terry Collett
The small dinner party had gone
Off well, Hazel thinks, sitting at
The dressing table, gazing at herself
In the mirror, seeing her hair done
Up just so, the way her maid, Dunne
Painstakingly did it for her. She begins
To unpin her hair, placing the pins in
The small glass dish, her fingers unused
To the task. Dunne is down in the kitchen
With the temporary cook, helping to clear
Up, tidy things away as is her want, her
Tidiness part of her character. She sits her
Hair unpinned, staring at her features,
At her eyes, the mouth slightly open, the
Teeth even and white. In the mirror she
Can see the made up bed, the covers
Turned down, the china hot water bottle
She knows just under the covers, put there
By Dunne. She'll be there soon, Dunne,
Her maid, her lover, undressing her and
Herself. She has her own room and bed
Up in the attic, but she seldom uses it unless
Guests are there over night or are staying
For a few days. Tonight she will be here,
Hazel muses, rubbing a tongue licked finger
Over her brow, and they will snuggle down
And talk of their day and then make love,
Then sleep. Since her father's death and the
Truth of his deeds and what he made Dunne
Do and the forced sex, she feels a mixture
Of anger and grief mixed into a compound
That makes her tired and confused. She waits.
She wants Dunne there, wants her fingers
To undo her zips and buttons, brush her hair,
Feeling the fingers on her skin, in her hair.
She wants to feel Dunne's lips on hers, needs
Dunne's fingers moving over her body, wants
To know each aspect of her maid's body. In
Her mind she can sense the feel, remember
The point of high sensation, as if her whole
Body was taken to the limits of exhilaration
Of passion, as if she might explode and all her
Being be scattered into balls of sensuality.
She can't find the exact words to express it.
She sits and waits, waits sitting, breathes
In, breathe out. Dinner had gone very well.
The evening guests talked of this and that,
Had their laughs and jokes. Mr Phibuster
Had lectured to her on the economy, how
Some upstart in Germany was stirring up
Trouble. She couldn't have cared less. Her
Eyes kept going to Dunne, watching her
Coming and going with dishes and glasses.
She sits up straight, Dunne is coming, she
Hears her footstep in the passage, her voice,
Some Mozart aria is tunefully humming.
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