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The Borgia Girl

written by: Loretta Barnard

@loretta_barnard

 

Evening spreads its dusky cloak across the sky
The heady scent of lavender fills the air
A cricket chorus thrums a steady tattoo
And creatures of the night begin their ‘day’.

Inside the ivy-coated mansion
Towering ormolu candlesticks are filled
And candles chase away the growing gloom,
The chambers blaze bright as sun.

She sweeps in, swathed in purple silk,
A beaded velvet girdle round her waist;
Seed pearl strands tame her flaxen curls,
Her lips are stained a vibrant cherry-red.

Around her neck a ruby-studded crucifix,
Her earrings simple silvery drops,
On one finger of her milky white hand
An orange topaz inside a citrine circle.

All eyes are on this graceful vision.
They’ve heard her jewelled ring
Contains a potent toxicant
Easily slipped into one’s amontillado.

They’ve heard the shameless whispers
Of weddings, murder, a brother’s lust
Of a child stained by mortal sin
Debauchery makes them salivate.

They do not know the girl is powerless
A pawn in a papal power play, pimped
And traded, another tool, an instrument
To be plucked as required.

They know nothing of her torment
The wretchedness and loathing.
She too is a victim, but no one cares.
Later, alone, she weeps tears of vinegar.

Loretta Barnard

Loretta Barnard

Loretta Barnard is a freelance writer and editor who has authored four non-fiction books, been a contributing writer to a wide range of reference books and is currently a regular contributor to online opinion site The Big Smoke where she covers literature, music, art, history and philosophy. A fledgling poet, she lives in Sydney, Australia.
Loretta Barnard

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