I love how books begin; those passages
that lead us by the hand across
the luxurious lawns, that portage us
gently up the gravel drive,
toward the manor house.
The author is still a kind host here,
anxious that we mingle
with the other weekend guests, that we note
how even the banisters are polished for us,
that we feel free to walk out
with the lady of the house and smoke
a cigarette, down the grand alley of elms.
We’re not expected to have things down pat
yet, like the family tree, or the route to the old Abbey.
Nothing really happens now,
beyond the delivery of breakfast trays.
It’s not scheduled to rain
for two more chapters, and no one
who matters to us has died yet.