by Gavin Bantock
This house is full of mirrors: I can't understand
how there come to be so many: I didn't
bring them here. Someone before me must have had
three eyes, or a blazing need for companions.
Every morning, as I walk downstairs,
the mirror on the landing shows me
someone in a faded raincoat shuffling past
the red fire-extinguisher behind the wooden bannisters.
It's so fascinating, it must be somebody
else's house. Perhaps it is.
There's something odd about the brass-framed
looking-glass in the music room: it never hangs
straight. I've measured everything, but I can't
find where the fault is; once I balanced
a marble on the mantelpiece just underneath,
but it didn't move an inch. You could
wander for days in the pageant of these mirrors.
I like the one in the ball-room best:
it isn't honest. When I dance there alone
without the lights on in the early evening,
I seem to belong to a grotesque
crew of fairies--not a place for a child
like me.I've noticed another strange thing:
not a single mirror in the house faces a window.
The man before me must have been afraid
to catch sight of the garden and copse reflected
back to front: it terrifies me. That's why,
if you go into the dining-room, you may notice
a white-haired lunatic, gripping the back of a chair.