loss of money
a false statement
– Madame Weyrd.
Wore boar hide, admired himself in polished tin
And in the waxed ivory cheeks of his daughters,
Sunk barbed hooks into their hamstrung calves,
Bemoaning their thin, pink blood
(Gifts, all that he himself had given them).
And ignored their pains upon horseback riding.
He would wake up the estate with hunter’s horns
In the dead of night, when there was no hunt
And drank by the barrel until he was flammable.
He would storm the gardens, wood axe raised,
To defend his title from Franks and Romans,
Or the Goths, or the Picts, or the Entitled Poor.
Although most bets made were on his scarlet fever,
Or his pagan love of crushed flowers and tonics,
In the end it was an exotic flatfish that lodged itself
Inside his hot pipe. And so, his house watched on:
His third and fifth wives quarrelling over legacies,
Waving his drunken paper promises overhead,
His sons wrestled for trinkets and land-plots,
The niece who painted forgot to look up from her easel
Until it collapsed, revealing her subject on his back,
The birdcages around his supine throne set alight with noise
A round of cawing applause rattled the room,
Legs akimbo, his face was cross-eyed and hurt
As his house descended around his blue-ing ears.