The Sly One

The Sly One

In the brown

which was perfumed

with the scent of polish and fruit,

I was shoveling up at my ease

a plateful of some Belgian dish

or other, and sprawling in my enormous chair.

While I ate, I listened, happy and silent, to the clock.

The kitchen door opened with a gust,

and the servant girl came in,

I don’t know what for,

neckerchief loose, hair dressed impishly.

And, passing her little finger tremblingly across her cheek,

a pink and white peach-bloom,

pouting with her childish mouth,

she tidied the plates standing close to me,

to make me feel comfortable; – and then, just like that,

– to get a kiss of course –

said very softly: ‘Feel, then, I’ got a cold in the cheek’

October 70