She had been beautiful once, but her skin
was now dry: starched parchment, heavily-lined
and deeply scarred by her mind’s constant weathering.
A glimpsed aspect caught like torn cobwebs.
 
Her bloom had drained into deep crevasses,
as she stumbled between relationships.
The birthdays were the same, only the names changed:
dancing in squalls of letters and littered lives.
 
Within the plastered make-up and set smile,
a distant, hollow drum beat away the silence
of enveloping walls. Yesteryears’ cards propped up,
hung out: semaphores of grounded memories.
 
Guided positions had too often ended
in rubble: sad wreckages that had clogged up
highways and low ways of conducting journey’s end.
The mascara too often hid the steely look.
 
She had basked in summer fluttering: heady days
of buff-orange, loitering in shrubs and copse,
which, sadly, led to the pricks of thistles 
and nettle stings distant from dock leaves.
 
The moon-cool Venus with the glossed lipstick,
cheap perfume and waft of loneliness,
had passed through her chrysalis of time:
no longer in the glad rags of dust-laden dreams.

ainted Lady