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She who was once his beautiful young wife
looks out at the flat northern sky,
the vertical rise of industrial smoke,
a broken scarecrow in a fallow field,
a solitary magpie on a tree stump,
the rusted creaking garden gate,
empty snail shells along the path,
a fine layer of dust along the window sill
and remembers a dress, in darkest red,
that unfastened at the back
with twenty-seven hooks and eyes.
The Rodin sculpture “The helmet-maker’s beautiful young wife” is a small bronze statue in The Burrell Collection, a gallery in Glasgow.