That their days were not like our days,
the different people who lived in sepia –

more buttoned, colder, with slower wheels,
shut off, sunk back in the unwakeable house

for all we call and knock. And even the man
with the box and the flaming torch

who made his servants stand so still
their faces itched can't offer us what it cost

to watch the foreyard being lost
to cream and shadow, the pierced sky

placed in a frame. Irises under the windowsill
were the colour of Ancient Rome.