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The Borgia Girl
written by: 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.