Lady Jane in the Tower
On the hour, as the bell chimes,
sparrows scatter, dun chests
burnished by the late sun.
Even today, my eyes see,
ears hear, nose smells.
It all matters,
fit snug around my girlish hips and waist.
They will protect me, at the end, when all control is lost.
My skirts will hide my drenched drawers,
as the axe falls and vultures hover.
I see a robin on the windowsill,
his white deposit chalks
the cold, pitted stones
before his throatful song flies up.
My simple, grey dress lies
unmarked, on the blanket chest.
I delay slipping it over my head, fearful
of creasing its clean lines.
I cross to the casement;
a single magpie chases my redbreast
away, into sorrowed flight.
A silk-black raven soars high
over the twilit yard. Lands softly
on a pitted balustrade to sit and wait.
I complete my toilette, kneel and pray.
Footsteps and a knock. It is time.
Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in 2017. She believes everyone’s voices counts.