Fred Beake

Orphan

And our heroine moved in these days of her loss
as among
the shadows of the dead, barely discerning the living.
She could not imagine the fruit of men or trees to
be real
and the leaves seemed mere shadows of the air.
With each person she met she saw not the flesh,
but the skeleton.
As the dead leaves fell that autumn and winter
she felt as if sky, earth and oceans were passing away.
She made half-hearted enquiries about joining the
nunnery;
but her mother was still powerful there, and she
distrusted the absence of men.
Yet she was drawn to the silence and the
abnegation.
But then the armies of colour marshalled their
strength
and Spring was suddenly upon her.
Fresh lambs were born and were friskily naughty.
There was the smell of moist earth in the singing
wood.

The cavortings of deer gave her such pleasure
and she began to stir again at the sight of young
men.

Fred Beake was influenced by his childhood in the West Riding. He has translated widely from modern French and classical Latin, and more recently classical Greek. Fred has published a number of books of poetry since 1992, most recently The Old Outlaw from Shoestring press. He has reviewed regularly for both Stand and Acumen. Recent poems in Acumen, Orbis and Stand.