Poetry by Kate Garrett: Mary at the murder of Rizzio
Mary at the murder of Rizzio
The little things drive Henry to fractured senses. Little things like me, sitting down to dinner with my closest friend. It is Lent and the world is hungry for martyrs. I am his queen but somehow less than, withering under my gift of child. There is a spectre in dark armour at the door – perhaps a vision given life by my weariness. Or perhaps Lord Ruthven, pale and feverish – sword drawn, his men behind him pushing daggers against my throat. They rip David from my side, their hands are knives: fifty slashes and more to his cooling corpse. As his blood tints the boards, an autumn forest floor in greening spring, I cannot cry because inside the crib of my own bones the babe kicks and twists and dreams of harts and hounds – beasts he’s not yet seen, cannot yet name.