This poem is commended in the Carol Ann Duffy challenge on Young Poets Network (YPN). The challenge was co-written and judged by Duffy expert Dr Mari Hughes-Edwards, who said of this poem, "Brilliant final lines. The bloodstain image was esp powerful but all through the poem the dramatic monologue form perfectly encapsulates Duffy’s earlier work. Although it’s a response to ‘Havisham’ I found myself thinking of course of Mary Queen of Scots but also of the feelings of Katherine of Aragon when she was acting as Regent in the early days of her marriage to Henry."

Lady

by Em Power

My weak brave husband, he was always a brittle blade,
Honour before reason, dry eyes open to the blaze of the sun,
Each letter I opened talking of dead Scots and rebels and anyone
But me. Me, empty-bellied, staring up at the night sky.
Once. Twice. Thrice. At least until that final, crumpled, yellow light arrived.
My dearest, willing to look past a slice of the future for his so-called God,
His suppositional King, oh, that handsome, spineless fool.
I was bit by thousands of snakes. I promised him every inch of the ocean
In exchange for a dais, or a bit of leeway, or a kiss (the kind we used to have.)
When he returned, dagger glinting, I waited for the soldier in him,
I found nothing but the ghost of tears in his eyes, and the red remains of a man.
I trailed a finger down his cheek, finished the job and spat at his feet.
Now he’s abandoned his wife again, left me here to sleep amble, then rot.
It’s just me, a royal ghost, a dark hallway and this damned scarlet spot.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

More about the Poetry Society…

Tweets @PoetrySociety

"It seems to be made of colour only. I don’t know what else it’s made of." From Margaret Tait's poem 'Flame' See Tait's feature film Blue Black Permanent tonight 7pm Poetry Cafe London introduced by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer bit.ly/TaitBlueMayer #tait100 @MargaretTait100

test Twitter Media - "It seems to be made of colour only.
I don’t know what else it’s made of."
From Margaret Tait's poem 'Flame'
See Tait's feature film Blue Black Permanent tonight 7pm Poetry Cafe London introduced by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer  https://t.co/NX18WgaxnC #tait100 @MargaretTait100 https://t.co/ZcDyNvnjPJ

Listening to ⁦@BBCRadio4⁩ Pick of the Week especially in hope that ⁦@taniahershman⁩’s programme would be chosen. Thanks ⁦@CatherineJBott⁩ for not disappointing! bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Great audience for Lisbon/Cascais @PoetrySociety Stanza group reading 😊 Retweeted by The Poetry Society

test Twitter Media - RT @oliviaedawson: Great audience for Lisbon/Cascais @PoetrySociety Stanza group reading 😊 https://t.co/xHwJ7QrfFY

Poet Kathleen Jamie features among Sarah Hall's cultural highlights theguardian.com/culture/2019/n…

"I used to lie in wait to see the clover open Or close, But never saw it." From Margaret Tait's poem 'Now' See Tait's feature film Blue Black Permanent tomorrow 7pm Poetry Cafe London introduced by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer bit.ly/TaitBlueMayer #tait100 @MargaretTait100

test Twitter Media - "I used to lie in wait to see the clover open
Or close,
But never saw it."
From Margaret Tait's poem 'Now'
See Tait's feature film Blue Black Permanent tomorrow 7pm Poetry Cafe London introduced by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer  https://t.co/NX18WgaxnC #tait100 @MargaretTait100 https://t.co/ee0I9vFfDi

"Don’t fell the trees For your city, because I need them for mine." From Margaret Tait's 'A Poem for a Morning' See Tait's feature film Blue Black Permanent tomorrow 7pm Poetry Cafe London introduced by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer bit.ly/TaitBlueMayer #tait100 @MargaretTait100

test Twitter Media - "Don’t fell the trees
For your city, because I need them for mine."
From Margaret Tait's 'A Poem for a Morning'
See Tait's feature film Blue Black Permanent tomorrow 7pm Poetry Cafe London introduced by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer  https://t.co/NX18WgaxnC #tait100 @MargaretTait100 https://t.co/0qdJYc5Vsq

25 percent of poets in our poll are terrified of microphones! twitter.com/PoetrySociety/…

Busy getting ready for Lisbon/Cascais stanza group’s @PoetrySociety reading in Estoril tomorrow. Retweeted by The Poetry Society

test Twitter Media - RT @oliviaedawson: Busy getting ready for Lisbon/Cascais stanza group’s @PoetrySociety reading in Estoril tomorrow. https://t.co/WkpTtzyzpj

It’s your final night to catch the BREATH-TAKING free light installation on Coventry Cathedral with wraparound sound of poet @CommaJane twitter.com/CommaJane/stat…

A poem for the weekend: 'Tea-time at My Aunt's' by Helen Farish, featured in the Winter 2014 issue of The Poetry Review @PoetrySociety bit.ly/2QnktAO ✒️ Retweeted by The Poetry Society