Birth of Mary - Benozzo Gozolli
The room had a ceiling as high as the sky,
limpid reflection above the mantelshelf,
and serpentine planes to the furniture
I now know to be in the French style.
There were three or four wide beds,
set at angles,
the top covers, in disarray,
were the lustrous reds and golds and lapis lazuli
of the Renaissance,
like those depictions of Annunciation,
but maybe that did not bespeak a period,
but chimed an echo of what had been,
back in the mists of Time
and the precincts of Memory.
I do not say that there were angels,
subserviant to Glory,
or a tenderly protective Madonna,
all beatific affirmation,
but there was an overarching form,
a female presence among some lesser acolytes,
inspiring peace and harmony,
ushering all to safety.
We knew we had to leave.
We were the chosen emissaries,
bound on a journey without map or compass,
nor a pair of shoes between us.
We had always been close,
the Yin and Yang of the womb.
We left without goodbye, no sense of parting,
no expectation of being trapped
in the muscular maroon
of a war being waged between possession
the noose pulsing about the throat,
all contact with each other severed
in singular file
Ahead, I squinted shade
and craved and strained towards salvation,
amid hollow howls
and lungs gasping for turbid air.
Engulfed in loss, I came,
with just a dumb and deadened sense
of what and who had been.
Waves of merciful forgetting sleep took over,
the world motioning through spindle bars.
This was how it was now,
absence hitched to hopeful advent.
I would survive in exile, and return.
Causes Rosy Cole Supports
World Vision, International Prison Outreach, Salvation Army, Emmaus Project, Poor Clares, DogsTrust, BUAV (against animal testing) WWT (Wildfowl &...