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The Starkey Flythe Jr. Memorial Prize

Ruth Nicholson

Fancy: List


Waltz me out the ballroom door away

from the burnished parquet floor

into the pearly dew.

Pretend Jane Austen lives

and has destined us to rendezvous.

For now, a dance upon the lawn for sport.

Nosegay, bonnet, blush—in the manner

of the manor we will court:

sachet of flowers’ breath at dusk,

scented note concealed inside a book,

earnest whispers at the harpsichord,

along the cobbled lane a knowing look.

Meeting at the stone bench

where the footman liked to drink his beer,

the almost-touch of parted lips,

the almost-taste of salt behind the ear.

Fancy: Text
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