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THE APPOINTMENT

Written by: Ruth Padel | Biography
 Flamingo silk. New ruff, 
the ivory ghost 
of a halter. Chestnut curls,

*

commas behind the ear.
"Taller, by half a head, 
than my Lord Walsingham."

*

His Devon-cream brogue,
malt eyes. New cloak 
mussed in her mud.

*

The Queen leans forward,
a rosy envelope of civet.
A cleavage

*

whispering seed pearls.
Her own sleeve 
rubs that speck of dirt

*

on his cheek. Three thousand 
ornamental fruit baskets
swing in the smoke.

*

"It is our pleasure 
to have our servant trained 
some longer time 

*

in Ireland." Stamp out 
marks of the Irish.
Their saffron smocks.

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All curroughs, bards
and rhymers. Desmonds
and Fitzgeralds

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stuck on low spikes,
an avenue of heads to
the war tent.


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Kerry timber 
sold to the Canaries.
Pregnant girls

*

hung in their own hair
on city walls. Plague 
crumpling gargoyles

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through Munster. "They spoke 
like ghosts crying
out of their graves."



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