The keepsake was for her to hang

by Rhiannon Shaw

The keepsake was for her to hang;
The opal-eyed countess.
For riches, for your family’s name,
She was pledged an ivory dress.
In company the whispers carry,
Rumours sinew, must be maimed-
How better by two gilded bands,
Your grudging heart in callow hands.
To be ordained in her collection,
Yearning must ensnare her soul.
I toil to impose passion to your guise,
Re-align the longing in your eyes.
A cruel inducement; limping love,
Torn out by surgery of deceit.
Though some desire is transcribed,
It is dragged out by its feet.
Melded through mussel-grey,
My assistant over-rouged your lips,
He leant and summoned colour from your cheeks,
Forbidden stares-
Eyes damning what it seeks.
Stagnant, dead affections wake,
True natures rise in shades,
Covetous claret, untamed looks,
Abomination by the books.
And still your youthful gaze will cling
To the person that the picture spurns,
As a master, I may close the frame,
But still your face betrays his name.
She pried it from the chamber, pleased,
For blinded, she saw lusting just for her.
My throat did catch when news came
That it never made the wall,
For tragedy had stricken-
One impulsive furore caused your fall.
To conceal you, misread torment,
To my care you were again bestowed,
Crystallised, you my deft illusion, wait-
For him to come back with my paints.