On Seeing Semele By Martin Hanley
Dedicated to my sister Marian, who died on the 25 th of April 2013.
Surrounded by the living, Semele walks her path alone. Safe now from Decadron that bitter-sweet antonym has come undone. Semele bloated and beckoning; a turgid Styx, a melanoid sun.
Gentle hazel in the moonlight like glistening pools they haunt me as wheezing gasps echo in the room next door but one. Semele, still waiting as three sisters weave and their eternal thread is spun.
Her short-term; your long-term in a rain-soaked pastel hospice; her senses now numb. Syndromes and charts masked by shadowy reflections, conscious in mirrors they slide undone.
High dose – low dose – some quietly keening; the faithful departed forever pacing. Chances, they say, are twelve to one. Familiar with faces and whispered refrains. Her back is now supported; heroic she still remains.
Humble with divinity now turning in her sleeping. Potential soon deflated as a background of staccato, echoes like a gun. And all the while the machine, observes her silently waiting.
Perfect with false eyelashes, corrupted like an unintelligible pun. Shallow, deep Semele’s breathing from curtain to ceiling, seat’s now empty, her busy friends all gone.
Our one whispered distraction retains her light eternal; troubled with terrible beauty as our lives carry on. Heart iridescent and crystal, Semele remains always an ever-loving mum.
Soon the moon’s reflection is blushing, silently she wanes, turns her back finally never smiles again.
Martin Hanley © April 2013