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An Archeological Dig Near Venice Has Unearthed...
Katrin Talbot


It must have been hard enough to
live six decades into the 1570s of Venice,
let alone have a touch
of the plague,
be thrown in a mass grave
on the island of
Lazzaretto Nuovo
across the waters
from your loved ones,
in the company of shroud eaters
But then to be indecently chiseled
into the visual memory of
all who happened to catch
(no catch and release for this one)
the Yahoo! News one day,
as we casually called up our e-mail,
the 16th century female skull
with her only gravestone
a brick stuck in her jaws . . .
Opprobrium Eternal
After all she endured,
she lay for stony centuries 
in that manner,
cursed as a vampire
simply because,
on grave-reopening,
a simple bacterial deed 
in the process of decomposition
had left a bloody mouth hole 
in her shroud 
So today,
with the powers invested in Poetry,
I rechristen her,
across an ocean,
in the morning rain,
mourning reign
Donna Amelia Maria Zerlina Mariella 
Elena Diphullia Angelico,
Blessed Citizen of Venice
May she rest now 
under the fermata of
Enlightened Redemption

© 2009 by Katrin Talbot
Used with the author's permission.




Photo credit: Isabel Karp


Australian-born Katrin Talbot is a violist, photographer, and poet. Her award-winning work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies and she is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Falling Asleep at the Circus, and The Devil Orders a  Latte, forthcoming from Fernwood Press. Katrin leaves in the Madison, Wisconsin area, with quite a few chickens. Learn more about her at




Post New Comment:
chris schulz:
to unearth and redeem...written by an angelico!
Posted 11/06/2014 09:58 AM
Yes a wonderful use of poetry and a wondrous poem.
Posted 11/06/2014 08:48 AM
A fitting tribute to someone formerly forgotten, unknown.
Posted 11/06/2014 08:44 AM
fun poem, Katrin!
Posted 11/06/2014 06:36 AM

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