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“An Elizabethan Bust” By Calvin Madsen

That mossy stone there,

man-shaped with such care,

blindly, it stares

at me, and everyone else.


Proud gaze, unaware, 

eroding green eyes and hair,

yet somehow it stares,

returned gazes for 300 years.


And now it sits here:

a stone’s new home.

Uncertain ancient leer,

frequented, and alone,

this spectacle is skeptical

of ever going home


to that stone dead carver,

that human he calls father,

long buried under fodder

who shaped him at such cost,

sunken and decayed like 

me in one hundred years.


He receives my gaze into 

 its vacuum void 

and waits here, dumb, 

while I can’t avoid, 

my future fodder blanket,

while this mossy face sits

suspended halfway through his collapse

like a frozen atomic blast.

I am amazed by

his ancient past.


Tell me statue, What was it like?

who did you astonish with delight,

the queen and those alike,

or everyone in the plaza?


With your Elizabethan collar, folds of rock,

I think you peer into my thoughts.

Clever carver carved canny,

and made to impress,

a stone man so sturdy

he will surpass my breath.



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