THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2010

Tracey S Rosenberg

CARLYLE ALONE

Jane died in her carriage,
wretched with pain,
her only companion a little dog
who blubbered and peed with hysteria.

The Chelsea sage is magnificent in grief.
The newspapers admire his lion's head.
Regrets flood his correspondence;
in return, he decants anguish too powerful
for the margins of his page:
She was his angel, his muse,
the core of his fire. Only his little dame
could soothe when the roosters vexed him
and dared confront the stream of slovenly maids.
In her own red bed,
gasping with groans,
she planned his winter coats
and his salvation.

‘Oh, Jane,’ he bellows
as white coals shrivel in the grate,
‘how you have bereft me
with your dying.’

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