blog mikesteeden

I hear you shed a tear for Mussolini
how very little I knew of
the workings of your mind
on that night seed embraced egg

Then later
you, your heart in one hand
a cigarette in the other
your eight months
tumescent belly
a radiance I think was lost to you
though not I
laying down the law
as only the naïve and
passionate know how

You did passion well
perhaps too well

Still, even back then
laughing at the curse of
your expectant recurrent
need to ‘powder your nose’
and grateful the sickness
had long since dissipated
still donned your Wellingtons
still walked your brace of Briards
and your two hearts within
mile upon mile
no matter how chilly
was the birth of the new day
the fact you were immersed in
the predictable news of
the Italo-Abyssinian War
kept you warm?
Perhaps, perhaps not

Why leave as you did?
The genesis of a fresh life
to be delivered up
in a place kept secret
I never did fathom
your modus operandi
likely never will

By the way
I do not hold a grudge
your imperial cause
long since lost
your defamed hero
now consigned
to sceptical history

It is easier to forgive
the vanquished, I find

The child though?
Boy, girl, stillborn?
What became of he or she?
You owe me on that one
after all it has taken a lifetime
to find you again

The lemon groves
still pine for you
though I no longer do

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