Ruth Sophia Padel

(1946 / Wimpole Street, London)

The Appointment - Poem by Ruth Sophia Padel

Flamingo silk. New ruff,
the ivory ghost
of a halter. Chestnut curls,

*

commas behind the ear.
'Taller, by half a head,
than my Lord Walsingham.'

*

His Devon-cream brogue,
malt eyes. New cloak
mussed in her mud.

*

The Queen leans forward,
a rosy envelope of civet.
A cleavage

*

whispering seed pearls.
Her own sleeve
rubs that speck of dirt

*

on his cheek. Three thousand
ornamental fruit baskets
swing in the smoke.

*

'It is our pleasure
to have our servant trained
some longer time

*

in Ireland.' Stamp out
marks of the Irish.
Their saffron smocks.

*

All curroughs, bards
and rhymers. Desmonds
and Fitzgeralds

*

stuck on low spikes,
an avenue of heads to
the war tent.


*

Kerry timber
sold to the Canaries.
Pregnant girls

*

hung in their own hair
on city walls. Plague
crumpling gargoyles

*

through Munster. 'They spoke
like ghosts crying
out of their graves.'


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 2, 2016



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