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Poetry Pleases: Fantasy Auction

Jean Cowgill

No baubles, no grandeur, no stately home
my wishes are simple, even austere.
For some people auctions may give
thrill of chase, disappointment,
very occasionally satisfaction.
One may delight at the acquisition
of the two hundredth thimble,
or a summer fire place screen
depicting a tapestry of scenes long past.
In my heart the only auction I would attend
would be for ‘Rose Cottage’, Dimple Dale.
Fantasy would be the supreme enabler.
The birthplace of my grandmother,
‘Rose Cottage’, hides in a narrow valley
on the outskirts of Briestfield;
a village which time passed by.
The house shows integrity within landscape:
sandstone with flagged roof and vegetable garden.
Here in 1874 Jane Ann Tinker first drew breath.
Her husband-to-be was three years older
and lived a quarter of a mile away.
Geography dictated romance in those days;
no means of transport; little social dispersal.
As a child I walked in Dimple Dale
and learned of its connection.
My heart went out to ‘grandma’s house’.
Ernest Dunford bought the place fifty years ago.
He had been a miner, allotment holder,
a miser who cycled five miles for a free paper.
On retirement he purchased my dream,
cultivated the large garden and found peace.
Fantasy auction time is now right for me.
Imaginary pockets are ‘deep, deep as the deepest sea’
as we enthused in childhood hymn.
So the anxiety, the frisson of excitement
of failure is missing in this transaction.
‘Rose Cottage’ will be mine.
Be careful for what you wish
a wise voice admonishes:
no bus route, no shop, no surgery,
no infra-structure for the elderly.
Perhaps unfulfilled fantasies are safest.
Maybe I should simply collect thimbles.


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