Poetry by Anita Patel

HOLDING YOUR SECRETS

(Portrait of Elizabeth Jolley by Mary Moore, National Portrait Gallery)

Here you sit in a room full of bustle and pose and glamour 

(still as paper, quiet as a story waiting to be told)

nothing around you – no paintings or windows or desks 

or gardens, no cut glass vases on polished tables – just you, 

Elizabeth, all your womanliness gathered stark and soft 

in this unembellished space, regarding us from your wooden chair,&nb...

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