House
by Gavin Bantock
   This house is full of mirrors: I can't understand
   how there come to be so many: I didn't
   bring them here. Someone before me must have had
   three eyes, or a blazing need for companions.
   Every morning, as I walk downstairs,
   the mirror on the landing shows me
   someone in a faded raincoat shuffling past
   the red fire-extinguisher behind the wooden bannisters.
   It's so fascinating, it must be somebody
   else's house. Perhaps it is.
   There's something odd about the brass-framed
   looking-glass in the music room: it never hangs
   straight. I've measured everything, but I can't
   find where the fault is; once I balanced
   a marble on the mantelpiece just underneath,
   but it didn't move an inch. You could
   wander for days in the pageant of these mirrors.
   I like the one in the ball-room best:
   it isn't honest. When I dance there alone
   without the lights on in the early evening,
   I seem to belong to a grotesque
   crew of fairies--not a place for a child
   like me.I've noticed another strange thing:
   not a single mirror in the house faces a window.
   The man before me must have been afraid
   to catch sight of the garden and copse reflected
   back to front: it terrifies me. That's why,
   if you go into the dining-room, you may notice
   a white-haired lunatic, gripping the back of a chair.
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