Paul Batchelor

3 Poems

Sapphics for Elizabeth Lilburne


Where is he whose patience can suffer one more
sainted devil ministering independence?
Don’t you think our interest equal? Tell us,
did you imagine

we would be so sottish or stupid as to
bide, cook, sew, mend, seeing our peace & welfare
broken down, trod underfoot by one who rocks
nations as cradles,

hooks & lands Leviathan but to swiftly
bridle it, demands that the blackbird freely
sing the tribute owed to a fenced-in meadow
once held in common?

We were not your trees by the river, quaking
aspen, sere-leafed, fated to fall in season:
righteous anger bested us. Earthly power
rules absolutely.

Lone, aloof, all friends in the tower, unbraided
cords to implicate in good time, mute burdens
set to music by the succeeding children
England so prizes —

trusted stranger, hear what your broken language
makes of us, our worldly accomplishment of
martyred pride, our faith in the promised day when
history fails us.



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