The Parlor

The oldest of the grand houses along Washington

Dates from ‘84 and is one of our parlors,

A mansion with wraparound porches and bay windows

Built by a fishing magnate, a great man,

Himself buried from home, in the former custom.

Many evenings there are crowds of people and cars,

So a stranger would think party, again as earlier,

Though absent the orchestra and alcohol – or only sometimes

A pint flask pressed in a corner, a cello.

Mornings, the stranger would guess brunch, an awards

Ceremony for civic pride held in the restored

Structure, the women’s hats and silk bows

Another throwback. Like the calm, serious conversation,

The white leather guest book, and the garden.