The Flowery Islands
Because I had caught a chill
the night before in the draughty
high-ceilinged dining room
of the Royal Edward hotel at Falmouth,
I could not go to the Scilly Islands
which are full of flowers.
All morning I lay looking dully
at the gray-brown tangle of trees
through the long, slender Victorian window
in a narrow bed, or reading
a bright brochure that said,
"The Scilly Islands are full of flowers."
I had come a long way
down the crooked toe of England
to be stranded here, feverish
and clogged, in the last century,
in a once-elegant hotel
where my young aunts with sweet
small waists had danced
in satin and lace so long ago.
Surely they went out in the morning,
laughing and joyous
to the Scilly Isles that are full of flowers.
After noon I arose
and walked about the soggy grounds
in my sensible raincoat.
The matted grass was flat and yellow
in the drizzling rain,
and a slatternly palm tree leaned
listlessly away from the sea.
I gazed out toward the home-horizon
thinking how many times I had not been
to the Scilly Islands
that are full of flowers.