Vanessa

{with tones of W.H. Auden}

Bring out the horses,

plumes and forelocks

tossing:

pour away the whisky

as the buzzard stands

sentinel at field gate.

Hold back the streamers

& the wedding gown,

for she’s left us

in a hurry

for a dark & distant

country, where there is

only one goodbye.

Bring on the trumpets

& the drums that are

silent, shout across

the sodden marsh;

for the first fingers

of a new day.

We lost her

in the evening

she left us

disbelieving

without a hand

to hold.

Bring out the horses

polish boots & brush out

your heartstrings

for today our friend

has left us, the owl

has forgone hooting

the wind is keening

love songs, the day

Vanessa died.

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