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