These sombre shades stand by
like broken effigies. Scooped out,
expressionless: five icons of fatigue.
It’s not the nakedness that shocks you,
but the dull compliance, staring out
across a century of perpetuity.
Waiting, with their lush curves, harsh lines,
eyes widened, thick with flesh: a hand
up there, a chiselled nose, a mask
of ancient womanhood, an elbow, breast,
thick thighs, and yet the edges stick –
a curl of burn that presses in, encapsulates
their umber form, their solid state –
in limbo in the world, exposed, for what?
Like mermaids sculpted out of plasticine,
existing out of time, they gaze back
at your own ungainly frame, caged-in
like pigeons, on all sides, awaiting
the inevitable fate: more of the same.
Rachel Carney lives in Wales, in the UK, where she is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing alongside her day job. She’s had poems published in a few journals including Sarasvati Magazine, the Open Mouse and the High Window Journal. She is also a book blogger at www.createdtoread.com and has had articles published in Wales Arts Review, the Welsh Agenda magazine and The Poetry School website.
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