By the soot black, lead blackened grate,
Ivory white swan-necked bottles of sterilized milk with their crimped crimson crowns waited.
To pour clouds into chestnut tea and viscous hickory coffee, in gold rimmed china cups, on which red roses bloomed.
By the dead metal pewter Dolly tub, weathered and faded green cakes of soap stood, waiting to have their splits and cracks softened.
Not by any peach pink Christmas present cream, but by boiling water and steam.
The faded orange flowers of a much worn well-worn pinafore were a shadow of themselves and paler still against the regal stalks of gladioli.
Standing to attention, in livery of yellows and purple, proud soldiers of the garden with medals on show.
Only matched in their glory by the wall-hung plates of brass and brasses that once adorned horses 14 hands tall.
And the colours that weren’t allowed, like the deepest lilac or white lilac whose June drenching bouquet had to remain outside along with the Bible bashing blue blasphemies.
And eyes that shone with pride, a lion’s defiance and diamonds.