Shoulders braced in readiness he stands,
bronze-hardened limbs echoing Attic cries;
his veins swell pitiless across death-dealing hands.
Beneath dark curls his sightless calcite eyes
cast over mortal lives their deathly calm,
a soundless warning parts his coppered lips;
I feel the cold hard life beneath my palm,
with quaking finger trace round curving hips
the blue-green web that maps on burnished skin
lost centuries dreamed beneath the wine-dark sea,
an ageless longing surging deep within –
his beauty sears my mind, enraptures me;
I touch his beard in ancient supplication:
I am enslaved – I want no liberation.
Sheila Lockhart is a retired social worker and lives on the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands with her partner and two Icelandic ponies, tending her garden and writing poetry. She has been published in Northwords Now.