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featured poet, Merryn Williams

Merryn Williams


Fanny Brawne

So here I am, walking through the Boboli Gardens
decorously with my children, who aren’t his,
who run in late spring sunlight, so much warmer
than in England. They make me look my age.
Their faces radiant and they don’t glance backwards,
bunches of spring anemones in their hands.
He said it was the blood of the god Adonis
which fell in bright slow drops, spotting the woods.
One day I might go south to Rome, and sit on
the quiet grass of the English cemetery.
His name is writ in water. I’ve told my husband
nothing. It feels like adultery.
I know the place only from descriptions
by poets; wandering flocks of sheep and goats
chew on the daisies, and the youthful shepherds
doze briefly near his stone on summer nights.
That’s a good dream, but I won’t return to Hampstead
and its chill winds. The wild boar gashed his thigh.
His sister never forgave me for getting married
and I think his friends hated me. When I die
they’ll put me far from where he is;
angels and broken lyres will crowd around
my headstone – Frances, wife of Louis Lindon
and vicious words won’t gore us, underground.

Merryn Williams

in collection, The First Wife’s Tale, 2006, Shoestring Press,
ISBN 978-1-9048864-6-4