new zealand electronic poetry centre

Fiona Farrell

online works


Mary Lawry’s Song

Open the door Mary.
And who shall I say called?
Only a rough wind
scraping his boots
on the Rock and Pillar.

Answer the bell Mary.
And who was it rang?
A cocky sun tipped
his hat dumped his swag
on the doorstep and
off up the valley.

Polish the spoons Mary.
And are we expecting company?
A crowd: thick cloud
a rose a young appletree.

Set the tea Mary.
And who shall I set it for?
A quiet man who
comes in each night and
goes out each morning.


Mary Lawry, 18. Domestic servant. Cornwall. ‘Queen of the Mersey’, 1862.


From Cutting Out (AUP, 1987)

Fiona Farrell

Last updated 23 July, 2007