You may rent a costume if you choose.
We have period dresses, stockings, beads,
feathers and cigarette holders for ladies;
for gentlemen, we’ve scarves, greatcoats and boots.
Step through the velvet curtains; let them fall
soundless behind you. Let your eyes adjust.
Astonishingly done, don’t you agree?
A room full of real fabrics, real furniture
all black and white as the original
penstrokes that etched carpet patterns and drapes
(almost concealing the mysterious shapes
that lurked behind). Are all of you quite sure
you want to press on? Next, you really must
go through the parlor where, as you will see,
a lissome miss reclines on a divan,
heedless of the somewhat sullen man
approaching her, and of his hidden dagger.
Meanwhile, outside, a hapless orphan flees
her large malevolent uncle, come to drag her
back to boarding school despite her pleas.
After that, we’ll take a break for luncheon,
when Lord Vyce-Grippe and Lady Genevieve
will dance an intricate ballet with truncheons.
And do visit the gift shop if you leave.
Julie Allan's poetry has appeared in Folio. She writes stories and poetry for children and is trying to extend her readership beyond children related to her. She lives near Lancaster, PA.
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