I saw her again, yesterday.

She was thinner, and her lovely eyes were crumpled like violets.

I think she wanted to cry, but I'm not sure.


Her hands were clasped. She walked from one end of the rose garden

To the other, still and small and glass-clear. So quiet her blossom bud mouth, so achingly silent her small white teeth

Which, they say, used to burst through with sweet laugh and laugh.

They are in hiding now.


Sometimes she takes the roses and

As if in a daze, twists them into the copper plaits through her hair – thorns, too, though the ruby drip-drips through her long fingers.


She was a maid in the tower, her hands filled

With flowers, plump-pucker-full, Jessamine bloom and orange lily.

And her sleep was so golden it was red blazing

And so silver it was white

And one hundred years is a long, long time.


She's mad, they say.

I think she is just very sad

And remembering.