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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 3, September 2012

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Patricia Prime
Te Atatu South, Auckland, New Zealand


Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

For her 21st my granddaughter decided to have a Mad Hatter’s tea party for her friends. They are invited to wear Victorian costumes. She wears a circular dress—full length, with a gold halter neckline and golden bows and ribbons at the back, which she bought from a vintage clothes shop. But what is she to do with her hair, which is black and curly? Her mother found an Alice-band on which she pinned gold and black butterflies.

mother and daughter
photographed together
like twins
their feather-boas tangled
in each other’s curls

Her boyfriend, who is dressed as the Mad Hatter, wears a black tail suit, a flowing white-cuffed shirt and a top hat. Friends are suitably attired in their mother’s or grandmother’s pearls, fox furs, hats with plumes and feathers, boas and any other odds and ends they can find in the wardrobe.

lighting fireworks
in the terraced garden
a group of friends
play their guitars
and sing pop songs

One of her mother’s friends who owns a catering business, provides the party food: decorated cup cakes, tiny sandwiches, mini savouries, sweets and chocolates and a cascading bowl of fruit as the centerpiece. Wine and cordial are served in delicate bone china cups from flowered teapots, which my granddaughter bought from an op shop the week before.

we find the lost kitten
asleep on a pile of ribbons
and torn wrapping paper—
clutched in its paws
a clockwork mouse

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