Where new writing finds its voice

As Good As New

Hugo Williams

What a relief to see our Beerbohm caricatures
still hanging in the dining room
and the dining table still there
with the extra leaf being used.
The Regency chair I broke has come back
from the repairers as good as new.
The Copenhagen china hasn’t been auctioned off
to keep us at school.
Place-mats of London theatres
are laid out ready for the next meal.

Best of all, the Marie Laurencin self-portrait
didn’t go down with the rest of the stuff
on its way to Portugal. Its brown smudges of eyes
look out across the fields
as if they were looking into the future.
One of our old musicals is playing
on the broken radiogram –
Wonderful Town or The Pajama Game.
I lean on the back of the sofa
and practise the Charleston.