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Jonathan Austin, fire juggler & magician

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Ghost of Judith Page

Barker:

Step right up! Step right up!
Meet Mann’s love who died at nineteen.
In hopes of absorbing the sound of his screams
of sorrow and rage, Mann Page
built the finest home in the land, it is said.
He named it Rosewell for his sick rose who was dead.

Judith Wormley

There was such profound sadness when I was gone.
I could feel it, though I no longer had a heart.
We were part of one another.
He used to be mine, he never met another
who he loved quite the same.

He married a woman with my name.
His parents made him. It was the sensible thing to do.
They thought too that she would be a distraction.

His reaction seemed like madness.
It was really sadness.
He built a a house as magnificent
as our love had been.
You could stretch eight bayonets across the stair.
There was nothing like it anywhere.
Each part a work of art,
each more beautiful than the last,
it was a temple to our past.

He built with such frenzy he fell down dead
in the entry way. They say
God struck him down for his excess.
That’s what the Bishop said as he crossed his chest.
Perhaps that he died of that is so
but what other’s don’t see that I know
is that it was above
all an excess of love.
Excess of sadness
at losing all gladness and sunlight.
We shone brightly, like diamonds
but fate wasn’t nice to the Black Pages.
We walk in shadow through the ages.

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