‘At the doorway (at one end of the hall), a studded door with strap hinges in moulded stone architrave, with carved, painted date 1677 and initials; however, the stone has been worked to read 1667.’
It is October, 2017 And each footfall inside Is unknown; this hall Comes without lighting, And she feels for the floor As if potholing. It is October, 1677 And a stonemason chips Into sandstone, missing his mark As a kite plunges For iron riches: the crest Reads, wrongly, 1676, in the dark.
In the future, she learns To navigate without light, To find the dipped treads three steps From the architrave, which is now A grab rail: she is a bat over The scabs of tile and Jacobean fretwork.
In the past, a man and wife Navigate by firelight, the steps Flush against velvet feet, the house Awash with candle and fat and steam: The house alive, bathed in its own light.