English Weightiness                                         
Everything is so dense in England.

An old tree's worn naked branches
that proliferates, casting a dense silhouette
seen from below at late dusk.

The dark wood-paneled room
rich with musk and dust unstirred
in Dutch Masters' foreboding colors
half lost in memory.

The dignified Darjeeling that weighs you down
to a standstill, anchored in a previously
cold blue and white delicate china.

The chaffing and stifling Victorian collars
of an age long past,
of a Shakespearean trade garment,
where dust gather as patiently as experience.

And the words, words
that flaunt the speaker's proud fragile heritage.

December 31, 1997