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Ancilla Domini

by Rupert Bunny

The wall hangs red.
Beyond, the glare of day
creeps towards
the angel's feet, reminds
us of the world out there,
the light in here,
the moment in the room,
her room,
when everything began.

Downcast, with sulky 
dread, she can't have
found it easy in the hush 
before that talk, the face
she can't meet, the
signing that he gave
of her movement into fate.

At the end of life,
she thinks of wings;
how they hid more worldly
light, blew in and shook
her tunic to her throat, 
and leaving, beat
beat, what must have 
been an angel
back to air.

The Canberra Times, 1994