Mary gave it to me in ’73,
Lauder’s parfum solidifié,
a cameo lid, carved and proud,
a Grecian face, raised, endowed
with curls and plaits
in ivory on terracotta.
Scent set in finely-etched gold.
Mary gave it to me.
Fast forward to 2013, a bad year,
when that thing happened
that all of us fear.
Mary, my friend,
she lost, failed, went.
I don’t forget her,
still use the same scent.
Polly Stretton © 2014
inside the compact
He learned to read from a black-letter Bible,
was thought a backward boy, no scholar.
Lonely, close and comely,
poor boy was deemed a dullard.
He forged his first letters
from illuminated capitals;
cutting consonants, reviewing verbs,
giving names to nouns.
Memory on memory make his story,
they talk of it still sighing their sorrows.
Merciless London, no crumb offered,
the baker rebuffed him for begging a loaf.
Chatterton (Black Pear Press, 2014)
Available as an eBook