Oblivion’s grace

Time orders Old Age to destroy Beauty POMPEO BATONI (1746)


In the deadness of Dove Wing

Mrs. Martindale waits –

For a Balt with an assortment of jars.

She’s a bird that has fallen,

Crashed into this place,

This carpeted cage without bars.

Stunned into quiescence,

Imprisoned by age,

What an end after flying so far!

The trolley is squeaking –

An Estonian face

Looms up and fades back into dark.

The wall clock is clicking

Low blood pressure pace,

The A-road’s a source of alarm,

And a TV is booming

In the residents’ space

Of worlds of ineffable charm.

Her daughter came calling

Once, furtive of face,

Impatiently eating her heart,

Couldn’t wait to be leaving

This embarrassing place

For her city so luckily far.

Since then, long dust falling –

Oblivion’s grace –

Slowly annealing all parts.

An old country yielding,

Through overthrown gates,

All ends going back to her start.

Hat-wearing each Christmas –

A delicate feast

As she watches the passing of cars,

Their lights on her face as

She looks vaguely east,

Hoping for prodigal stars.


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