I saw her then, a girl displayed
in her mother’s wedding dress,
and fitted for the modern world.
The original was lost.
What does it mean? So much was lost.
Meantime, I clasped your hands, recovering
while twisted tendons cracked and snapped:
I could not look.
Look away! I had to look away.
But there is no forgetting, only honour –
or perhaps compulsion, half-remembered.
Then there was compression, absent
comprehension, inappropriately applied.
Take a breath! Another.
Who knows when it will end?
Or if it has….