Karen Izod – Two poems

The Poetry Shed

after ‘The Execution of Lady Jane Grey’ Paul Delaroche 1883.

We were threading beads, do you remember?
It was a dark day, the nursery never a homely room,
and a shaft of light broke through the window
catching at the sheen on your dress.

Radiant you were. I thought we were in the Presence,
in the scatterings of angels leading Jacob up his staircase.
And I saw you as some heavenly bride, ecstatic.
I shocked myself with the thought.

Come let’s play blind man’s buff, I said, turning you
in my arms, covering your eyes, turning you again.
And your necklace spilled. Garnets fell like tiny stabs
from your neck, and I felt the light backing away,

being eclipsed by some other thing.


Urbane, charming,
he pads at the edges
of the campo, keeps
to the shadows, watches
the hen and her chicks
strutting their stuff,
vulnerable in…

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