Girl with a lamp
I watch the flare of a new mantle,
I will be away when the electricity comes, wires
incandescent gauze, more fragile
than a moth’s wings;
I spell a lexicon of light’s incantations –
Aladdin, paraffin, Tilley, hurricane,
wick, alive with a fragment
of Promethean fire; I inhabit
a lampscape of flame and shade.
strung like washing lines
across the fields. At the back of the cupboard
the lamps will huddle together
like workmen dismissed.
But my mother’s wish will be granted.
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