Me and Jane: A Poem


Me and Jane: A PoemSurrounded

By old friends and new ones

Yet to be properly


I sit next to Dickens, Tolstoy

But mostly, Jane.

Jane Austen sits

Opposite me.

Blue lace, petticoats clean

Secretly, inking out a few phrases

When she thinks,

I’m not watching.

But I have mastered the art

Of seeing sideways.

We cannot sip tea,

Far too late in the evening.

The laws of decorum forbade it.

Nor, shall we eat a few

Crumbly scones.

For we would be loathe

To leave a trail of crumbs

Like mice.

A sentence or two written,

She nods politely

And they stay.

Harsher tones, a few angry voices,

Her brows furrow, cheeks flush.

She turns away for a full ten minutes.

But such trifles are easily


Time for writing ceases,

And Jane picks up

Her quill and paper,

Curtseys and exits.

Leaving me alone

To settle the disputes

Of Dickens and Tolstoy.


*Photo: 20091204_Hermitage_library_002┬áby Friar’s Balsam, obtained through Flickr.