Victoria by Stuart Atkinson


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VICTORIA

The name you christened me,
fair Victoria,
does not reflect the agony of my birth.
I am a scar,
a gaping, gawping hole
in this world’s weary body;
a scooped-out, sightless eye
forever fixed on
but unable to see the sky.

No-one saw me born;
no frightened eyes were shielded
by rapidly-raised hands
as my Father punched my Mother
Mars so hard, so brutally
her body shook for days,
leaving behind an open wound
that e’en an aeon
of drifting dust could never fill.

In my indignant, incandescent rage
at being born I
scattered shattered stone
out of my cooling crib;
vomited smoke and ash
into the lacerated sky,
banishing both cerulean sun and
ice bright stars until
my agony had ended.

Time passed – and ate away at me,
gnawing on my body like
a crow upon a corpse.
My edge, once smooth, a graceful
curve, jagged and ragged
became; a sore, saw-blade
shark-tooth sculpture
of crumbling stone, the
shattered bones of my angry youth
left protruding
from the ground to be wind-whittled
and hewn into grinning gargoyle
buttresses and balconies of
splintered, sharp-shard stone.

Leaving me hollow.

And now, lured here by
my beacon’s ghostly lantern light
you come to me – a scurrying
metal messenger from the
Morning Star; impatient to lean over
the gory edge of my
opened chest and gaze down
at my dust-clogged heart to learn
more about my life?

Do not expect me to surrender
my sad secrets instantly – or easily.

I am worth more than that.


© Stuart Atkinson 2006