A Portrait for Kate Ludington

By Adrian Frey

“Aqueduct in Ruins” by Hubert Robert, 1750

A tiger fang deadly woman’s shadow affixed in the doorway
Dropping shield, sword and helm
Mixing memory and desire,
Mending sacrifice.
Out that way is a garden
Storing a naked statue of Pallas with a veil of weeping trees
A blanket of ash covers the ground
Where the blade sharp souls bring the leaves that wriggle their bones
Making blood –
Blood that smiles back at me.
There I stand flanked by the wolf hungry eyes of fate and love on my left and right
I tremble like a cowering hare in the brush
And the hare is bruised and blue.
And once time is up
And I am dead and we are dead, dead among the dead
We will see the statue of Pallas armed in golden armor again among the fruit bowls and flower vases.