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Why'd You Bring That?

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It's one thing to remember her speed while walking
From, say Shibden to my carriage, ten miles to meet me along
The way: ridiculous. But in the in-between years
Of our marriage, she has exemplified the speed
Of an ancient Greek marathoner: ready at a moment
To report miles away on a battle lost, on a cause
That she expected to have won, and then, didn't.

This afternoon, I am napping on the hotel sofa
When she comes charging in, hanging on the doorknob
That smashes into the room, waking me suddenly.
She tosses off hat and greatcoat as I ask, "How was she?"
"Very well, and the baby too." I pointed to the cards
And the letter, all from Lady Fill-in-the-Blanks, and
The last, from Lady Stuart, an invitation, which she

Can reply to, as I cannot, having not been introduced.
I suggest shopping and she agrees, needing to buy
A coffee pot for Vere's wedding, but then I realize that
She will need to start dressing now for Lady Stuart's
Dinner, being held an hour away at least. She grabs
Hat, coat, letters all and rushes out to change. I recall
When such an invitation would not have made her budge.