Picking up “Jane Eyre” Once More

It was on the top shelf.

I had to stretch to reach it down.

Blowing off the dust, I fanned the pages open

To waft fresh air and wake

The people waiting there

So patiently.

They had slept for fifty years

For I had read the book at school.

My notes still crawled up and down the margin,

And many words were underlined.

‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ they say,

But Pilot woke as I rustled the pages.

Then Mrs Fairfax, blinking a little,

Took up her knitting needles,

Which had lain on her lap for years,

And, starting again,

Dropped not a stitch.

The great black horse fell once more

On the ice across Hay Lane,

And once more Pilot ran to Jane,

And she hurried to help the rider

To mount his horse again.

Once more they talked in the orchard

As darkness fell quietly on the old house.

And once more she waited for him beyond the gate

As he rode home late one night.

Yet again the clear, cold voice

Stopped the wedding

That was so nearly happy.

And once more Thornfield fell in flames

As Manderley would later fall.