Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The glass does not lie.
The face that she sees
is her face, smoothed white,
the red, moist lips
are hers, the eye
that fixes her is her own,
steady in the quivering
morning light. Her maids
have done their work
and this is the very image
of the Virgin Queen,
red hair alight, precious
to her finger tips, ready
to turn history's next page.

Is this the same vision
Norfolk stumbled on
unannounced? She had her back to him
and the evening light was weary and dim,
so for a moment he did not realise
whose was the crooked spine,
the wrinkled skin,
the short grey hair,
but then he caught her eye
and knew that all was wrecked,
felt, for the first time
the axeman's foetid breath
on the back of his neck.

Just like buses...you wait for one for ages then two come along.

1 comment:

  1. Richard - I love this glimpse into the life of Mary.

    Hers was such a precarious life, that so easily might have swung the other way, except "all was wrecked"...

    Was it her bad judgement of the men by her side, or the bad judgement of the men at her side?