Scribbled In A Country Saleroom by Jerome Betts

Scribbled In A Country Saleroom

The hammer seals the fate of Sundry pots;
Encrusted grime receives a last quick wipe
As bidding opens on the better lots –
One decorative pink-tinted Nailsea pipe.

Next up, an item that provokes mild mirth,
A large Victorian tub-shaped lady’s chair.
(Designed to fit around the ample girth
Of Number 19’s bulbous jardiniére?)

Here lives are measured out with melon scoops,
Or Spode tureens and seats in figured plush,
With Thirties memorabilia, Betty Boops,
Parisian prints that once made buyers blush.

A salver, (pie-crust edges) . . . Did it bear,
Clasped tightly in a servant’s nervous hand,
Some telegram with tidings of despair,
Financial ruin, loss of house and land?

And will these very pages, now so new,
Their present readers passed on, burnt or boxed,
One day know fresh appraising eyes that view
Marked catalogue, historic, badly foxed?

by Jerome Betts

Editor’s Note: I must confess to a fondness for iambic pentameter, and this poem does not disappoint. The easy roll of the meter supports the whimsical voice of the narrative, giving the last line a satisfying punch.

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