The Drowned Woman

Millionly-whored, without womb,
Her heart already rubbish,
Watching the garret death come,
This thirty year old miss
Walked in park pastoral
With bird and bee but no man
Where children were catching armsful
Of the untouched sun.
With plastic handbag, with mink fur,
A face sleep-haggard and sleep-puffed
Fresh-floured and daubed “whore,”
This puppet was stuffed
With rags of beds and strangers’
Cast-offs, one cracked cup, a cough
That smoked and malingered.
But put a coin in her slot
This worn public lady
Would fountain a monologue,
Would statuesque and goddess a body,
Ladder Jacob a leg.
She plucked men’s eyes from happy homes;
Hands grew in the empty dark
And hung like jewellery on her limbs,
Yet she came to this park
Not for the sun’s forgetful look
Nor children running here and there;
On the mud bed of the lake
She found her comforter.
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