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THE APPOINTMENT

 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.
* All curroughs, bards and rhymers.
Desmonds and Fitzgeralds * stuck on low spikes, an avenue of heads to the war tent.
* Kerry timber sold to the Canaries.
Pregnant girls * hung in their own hair on city walls.
Plague crumpling gargoyles * through Munster.
"They spoke like ghosts crying out of their graves.
"

by Ruth Padel
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