The Pact

At a poetry workshop, the facilitator asked us to choose a postcard of famous art works she’d brought in.  This is my response to Egon Schiele’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ .


The Pact

That postcard of ‘The Kiss’

you stuck on my wall

really pissed me off.

The shape was wrong –

oblong not square –

and the paper glossy, not gilded.

Then you kissed me.

It should have been a clue

but I was new to the scene.

‘I could steal your soul,’ you joked,

‘If only you’d let me.’

I was a fool to agree to pose, legs akimbo,

holding the darkest red rose.

‘Dead blooms keep their mouths closed,’ you said.

It was then I knew just what I’d sold.

What could I do but grow bold?


Later, as I lay in your arms,

you told me who you really were.

I misheard, I thought you said ‘toad’.

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