A Love Song of Alice B. Toklas

Alice_B_Toklas-1921

Mornings after, the company sleeping hard,
You were wakeful
With her arms about you
(and she asleep, not to be roused
because she did not care to be disturbed
by morning’s fitful fittings into place
till noon’s din roused her anyway
and she would dress and come down to the ordered house);
The floor cold till you found your slippers, padded down the stair
To find a brace of poets snoring on a single chair
A pair of painters sprawled upon the floor,
strange bearded men, one pic-a-devant, one goatee;
And standing at the parlor door you saw them heard them snore,
you smelled their wine and night-sweat smell,
And knowing all was well and would be well
You gathered up the moment to yourself

And let it go. No poet nor no painter you;
Yet that was something only you could do,
Let go and yet not lose,
And sniffing shuffle on on quiet feet
To go and shovel out the ashes from the stove
And put the whistling-kettle on for tea.

 

 

Image: Alice B. Toklas, ca. 1921. This image is in the public domain in the United States. (For another version of this picture see Alice B Toklas 1921 by Flickr user Puzzlemaster.)

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