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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 12, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 12, 2013



She climbs the narrow
staircase of the tower
which is circular, now
and then a door leads

off to a room, but the
doors are closed, and
only her shoes echo on
the stairs. Her father

has forbidden her to
climb the stairs, too
dangerous, Alice, he's
said, but she climbs

them in-spite, her sense
of adventure overriding
her anxiety of possible
punishment. She stops

half way. Breathes deep.
Her cheeks flush red,
her eyes bright blue or
green, depending on

the light, her mother
says, onkissing her
goodnight. She walks
up further, putting a

small hands on her knees
to press her on. Nearly
at the top, passing
another door, pressing

her knees, onward trot.
She stands on the top
step and opens a small
door that leads to the roof.

Fresh air meets her,
warmth of sun. She
walks carefully along
the narrow ridge, peers

out over the grounds below.
The gardener is busy
in the rose beds, back
arched, hoe in hands.

Her father stands nearby
pointing a finger, words
inaudible to her, linger.
She ducks in case he

looks up. She walks,
bending low, along
the narrow ridge to
the other side. There

she peers at the back
garden and looking
down sees the thin
maid carrying a bucket

along the path. Thin
arms and hands barely
managing to haul along.
A dog barks. Someone

laughs. She ducks, and
walks the narrow ridge,
and into the door, onto
the winding stairs. She

waits. Listens. She tiptoes
down one step at a time,
ears cocked, mouth dry.
She pauses outside a

door half way down.
She turns the handle
and looks in. The room
is empty. She enters

and closes the door behind.
A bedroom. Small bed,
washstand, cupboard,
chair. She walks on by.

She opens the outer door
and peers along a corridor.
No one in sight. She goes
out and shuts the door

behind. The smell of polish
and flowers. Shining
floors, carpet well brushed
and clean. She walks

slowly along the corridor,
dark shadows in corner
and doorways, lights off,
sunlight barely touching.

Her father is at the other
end talking to Fedge.
Baritone to baritone.
She ducks in a doorway,

bites a lip, fiddles fingers.
Had he seen her? The voices
carry along the corridor,
rising and lowering like

heavy waves.She peeps
out of her hideaway, eyes
bright against dark shadows.
Her father stands there

towering high. She smiles,
moves out, folds her hands
in her pinafore pockets.
Where have you been?

he asks, his voice baritone
deep and vibrating doors.
Walking, she says, looking
for Dolly. He sternly stares,

dark eyes burning. Not
been on the tower roof,
I hope? She looks at the
shiny buttons on his coat,

sometimes she can see her
face in them smiling back.
Oh, no, she lies, wouldn't
dare, too dangerous, to

go there. He looks her
in the eyes, and knows
she lies, a double wrong
to be corrected, his mind

suggests, but isn't sure,
if it was she, he saw.
Could have been another,
he'll ask her mother,

to keep an eye and watch,
not to be too content; or
her naughty daughter will
receive her punishment.






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