The Plains of Lombardy. A poem by Róisín O Donnell

Corona, corona, heir of ancient pestilence:
Spanish flu, Black Death, plague of the Decameron.
What comedy divine are you up to Oh Vengeance?
Is this your work, O God of Testament of Old?
Burning vendetta on a people,
Sending a cortege of wisdom on its way
By the fair plains of Lombardy?

Walled city-states pass by
Where patrons bankrolled art divine,
Of subjects touched with godlike blushes,
Or marble chipped away
Till flawless forms leapt out.

The road unreels in silence.
It takes some blow to quieten such a vibrant people,
Whose inbred fervour fired
The splendour of the Renaissance.

Why was this their destiny?
The land they nurtured, worked on, died on
Can’t take them now.
Full cemeteries send them on
To pastures new.
Will their spirits now find where to roam?

Or does this journey
That to us tots up to doleful numbers
Set them free
From hind’ring machines and drips
Ventilators, monitors
To soar o’er this land at their ease
Sing its proud song
To echo o’er the sweet plains of Lombardy.


Say hi to Róisín O Donnell on Twitter @Rjodonnell1

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